Few details were offered about the video, but the popular Ukraine weapons tracking Twitter account “Ukraine Weapons Tracker” speculated that the footage was likely recorded somewhere in eastern Ukraine.
The short clip appears to have been filmed from the helicopter itself. It shows the Ukrainian tank and BMP in the helicopter’s sights before the guided missiles strike the vehicles and cause a large explosion.
The footage almost certainly was filmed in the east, given that Russian troops were redeployed to the region in late March as the Kremlin accepted that success in Kyiv and central Ukraine was unlikely.
Russian Ka-52 Damaged After Hitting A Tree
This week, photographs were also shared online of a Russian Ka-52 helicopter seriously damaged after hitting a tree. The photograph shows the B-8V20A tube, which is used for launching 8mm unguided missiles, packed full of tree branches after the helicopter collided with a pine tree.
Incidents like this occur when helicopters fly at a low altitude, clipping trees along the way. Helicopters are forced to fly at low altitudes and risk colliding with trees because of the prevalence of NATO-supplied anti-aircraft weapons in use by the Ukrainian military.
Russian Ka-52 attack helicopters are fitted with on-board defense systems designed to protect against attacks from anti-aircraft systems, but despite that, Ukrainian forces have successfully downed a large number of these helicopters in recent months.
Russia’s “Alligator” Helicopter Has Some Weaknesses
The Ka-52, also known as the “Alligator,” is an attack helicopter designed to destroy both armored and unarmored ground targets. It’s one of the more modern designs currently in use by the Russian military, and was first introduced in 2011.
Only days ago, Ukrainian forces shot down a Russian Ka-52 attack helicopter in the Kharkiv region.
A statement shared on the official 93rd Separate Kholodnyi Yar Mechanized Brigade’s Facebook page revealed how Ukrainian forces destroyed the aircraft.
“This afternoon in the izyumsʹkomu direction, which in Kharkiv region, the anti-aircraft missile division destroyed the Ka-52 combat helicopter of Russian invaders. The helicopter fell on the temporarily occupied territory between the settlements of suligívka and dovgenʹke,” the June 13 post reads.
“Thanks to the efforts of the holodnoyarsʹkoí Зав brigade of the rašistív decreased in the Ukrainian sky,” it continued.
While Russia’s Ka-52 attack helicopters have proven a valuable asset for the Kremlin, they are by no means indestructible – and as fighting intensifies in the East, NATO continues to supply new weapons, artillery, and other aid to Ukraine.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.