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the Russian Ka-52 attack helicopters They were decisive in repelling the counterattack of Kyiv. But Ukraine has made improvements in recent weeks that allow it to destroy these aircraft, forcing Russia to reduce its use of aviation to counter Ukrainian advances in the south and east of the country. According to the American research center ISW, it was these aircraft that played the most important role against the Kiev attacks, so much so that they were named “Putin’s vultures” According to Ukrainian media. They are believed to be among the most effective attack helicopters in the world, and British Military Intelligence said the helicopters are “one of the most effective Russian weapons systems on the front line.”
“Ukrainian forces appear to have increased their ability to shoot down Russian Ka-52 helicopters in mid-August 2023, and the Russian leadership may have reduced the use of aviation in the western Zaporizhzhya region for fear of losses of aircraft and pilots.” ISW said.
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there Russia It is therefore carrying out more air strikes in other parts of the front line, including Kherson and Luhansk, in a possible attempt to balance “exhausted” Russian forces in those areas.
Ka-52 helicopter: what is it?
The Ka-52 is highly maneuverable, equipped with thick armor and missiles with a range of about 15 kilometers. Helicopters made this possible, RAND Corporation analyst Jean Gentil told Business Insider Russia To stop Ukrainian tanks while they were too far away for Ukrainian air defense systems to return fire.
ISW did not specify how Ukraine was able to shoot down more helicopters, but Niko Lange, a Ukraine expert at the Munich Security Conference, told The Economist in August that Ukraine would destroy them “piece by piece,” strengthening its counterattack.
He said that while Russia had about 100 helicopters at the start of the war, the number could have been reduced to as many as 25. The Defense Express newspaper reported in August that Swedish shoulder-fired missile launchers had proven effective in attacking helicopters. In recent weeks, Kiev has tried to penetrate Russian defenses in the southern Zaporizhzhya region and then advance towards a city of strategic importance. Melitopol.
Despite recent Ukrainian advances, Russia has so far prevented Ukraine from achieving a decisive breakthrough. ISW said Ukraine’s improved capability against the Ka-52 had not seriously undermined Russian defences. “Russian forces appear to have increased the use of offensive drones against advancing Ukrainian forces, and Russian artillery units continue to play an important role in repelling Ukrainian attacks,” the Institute for the Study of War said.
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