Putin’s blundering forces have shot down their own helicopter in Ukraine after it mistakenly started firing at its own troops.
The Ka-52 ‘Alligator’ helicopter, which costs an estimated £12million, was gunned down in Kherson, Ukraine’s General Staff revealed.
The military bosses joked it was a ‘gesture of goodwill’ from the invading forces.
Putin’s blundering forces have shot down their own helicopter in Ukraine after mistakenly thinking it was attacking them (file image of a Ka-52)
They reported that three of the helicopters were flown over the occupied region and started to shoot at the Russian troops stationed below.
They returned fire and shot down one of the choppers in what is just the latest embarrassing blow for Putin’s men.
Just last week, Russia shot down its own £35million Su-34M fighter jet in Ukraine.
Soldiers were trying to target the US-supplied HIMARS rocket launchers which have wreaked havoc since they were given to the defending forces.
But instead they shot the bomber which fell from the skies over Alchevsk, in Luhansk.
Russia shot down a rare $40million Su-34M fighter-bomber in the skies over eastern Ukraine, after wreckage was spotted near the town of Alchevsk, last week
Video of the wreck on the ground emerged the following day and revealed the words ‘Russian Aerospace Forces’ written down the side of the aircraft.
It comes as Ukrainian artillery hit a strategic bridge essential for Moscow to supply its forces, using a US-supplied precision rocket system.
The Ukrainian military struck the Antonivskyi Bridge across the Dnieper River in southern Ukraine late Tuesday, the deputy head of the Moscow-appointed administration for the Kherson region, Kirill Stremousov, said.
He said Wednesday the bridge was still standing but its deck was pierced with holes, preventing vehicles from crossing.
The 0.9-mile bridge sustained serious damage in Ukrainian shelling last week, when it took multiple hits. It was closed for trucks but had remained open for passenger vehicles until the latest strike.
Ukrainian forces used US-supplied HIMARS multiple rocket launchers to hit the bridge, Stremousov said.
The HIMARS system has precision strike capability and has added a more modern technological edge to Ukraine’s dated military assets.
The Russian army has used the Antonivskiy bridge over the Dnipro River as a key resupply route into Kherson
The HIMARS have a longer range, a much better precision and a faster rate of fire compared with Soviet-designed Smerch, Uragan and Tornado multiple rocket launchers used by both Russia and Ukraine.
The billions of dollars in Western military assistance have been crucial for Ukraine’s efforts to fend off Russian attacks, but officials in Kyiv say the numbers are still too small to turn the tide of the war.
While halting traffic across the bridge, at least temporarily, makes only a slight dent in the overall Russian military operation, the strike showed Russian forces are vulnerable and was a minor triumph for Ukrainians.
The bridge is the main crossing across the Dnieper River in the Kherson region. The only other option is a dam at the hydroelectric plant in Kakhovka, which also came under Ukrainian fire last week but has remained open for traffic.
Knocking the crossings out would make it hard for the Russian military to keep supplying its forces in the region amid repeated Ukrainian attacks.
Early in the war, Russian troops quickly overran the Kherson region just north of the Crimean Peninsula that Russia annexed in 2014. They have faced Ukrainian counterattacks, but have largely held their ground.
Kyiv’s forces hit a key Russian-held bridge overnight in the occupied southern city during a counter-offensive
The accurate targeting of the bridge contrasted with Russia’s indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas since the invasion five months ago.
The governor of Dnipropetrovsk, in the central eastern area of Ukraine, said Wednesday that Russian forces struck two regions with artillery. Gov. Valentyn Reznichenko said that in the town of Marhanets, a woman was wounded and several apartment buildings, a hospital and a school were damaged by the shelling.
“Chaotic shelling has no other goal but to sow panic and fear among the civilian population,” he said.
The Ukrainian attacks on the bridge in Kherson come as the bulk of the Russian forces are stuck in the fighting in Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland of Donbas where they have made slow gains in the face of ferocious Ukrainian resistance.
A rescuer walks among debris at a site of a residential area destroyed by a Russian military strike, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in the town of Toretsk
Russian forces kept up their artillery barrage in the eastern Donetsk region, targeting towns and villages, according to regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko.
“The Russian army is using scorched earth tactics in attacking the Ukrainian cities,” Kyrylenko said in televised remarks.
He said the region is without gas and power, while water supplies to some areas also have been cut.
In Bakhmut, a key city on the front line of the Russian offensive, the shelling damaged a hotel and caused casualties, Kyrylenko said. A rescue operation was under way.
Amid Moscow’s push to take full control of the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions, Russians have gained marginal ground northeast of Bakhmut, according to a Washington D.C.-based think tank.
Russian forces, however, are unlikely to occupy significant additional territory in Ukraine “before the early autumn,” the Institute for the Study of War said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy claimed that Russian military losses have climbed to nearly 40,000, adding that tens of thousands more were wounded and maimed.
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