Ukrainian Counterattack Leaves Russian Helicopter Fleet in Smoldering Ruins
A Ukrainian strike on a captured airfield in southern Ukraine destroyed numerous Russian helicopters and military vehicles.
Tuesday satellite imagery showed thorough devastation at the Kherson Airbase.
Russian forces bragged about taking control of the airbase two weeks ago during an offensive along the Dnieper River, according to The Drive.
Two companies that operate photography satellites published images of the devastation at the airbase, and investigative journalism organization Bellingcat shared images obtained by both companies — Planet and Maxar.
First March 16th imagery of Kherson airbase following a Ukrainian attack that destroyed multiple helicopters via @planet (left). Compared to the @Maxar imagery from March 15th (right) there appears to be additional damage. pic.twitter.com/fYklB5WFuZ
— Bellingcat (@bellingcat) March 16, 2022
Further imagery shows the devastation inflicted by the attack, which targeted Russian helicopters closely parked together.
Satellite imagery shows devastation, destroyed choppers at Kherson Airbase following Ukrainian counteroffensive. Russian troops took airfield two weeks ago. pic.twitter.com/r5uvmEIwmM
— Richard (@Wildman_AZ) March 16, 2022
Ukraine’s Pravda News shared what appeared to be on-the-ground footage of the airbase after the barrage, revealing the thorough devastation that the Ukrainian military inflicted on the Russian occupiers.
Vehicles in the footage are decorated with the “Z” insignia utilized by the Russian invasion force.
Аеропорт Херсон. Розбита російська техніка після атаки ЗСУ pic.twitter.com/Lw5JYn9kLr
— Українська правда ✌️ (@ukrpravda_news) March 16, 2022
It’s not clear what weapons were used to hit the Russian-occupied airbase, with possibilities including aircraft, drones, artillery or even infantry.
The nature of the operation led some to speculate Ukraine used rocket artillery in the attack.
Drone footage showed the black plume of smoke visible miles away from Kherson Airbase.
(2) Drone footage, likewise shows smoke billowing from the airport. Russia has been using the airport to stage large formations of helicopters and equipment, so it’s likely today’s strike put a dent in Russia’s combat power in the south. pic.twitter.com/VdZKmzsEQg
— Tim McMillan (@LtTimMcMillan) March 15, 2022
Ukrainian forces have shown the capability to destroy Russian aircraft and tanks weeks into Russia’s invasion, raising serious questions about Vladimir Putin’s strategy in the country.
Russian losses, Feb 24 to early Mar 15:
1,279 armoured vehicles
150 artillery systems
64 multiple-launch rocket systems
36 air defence systems
640 technical vehicles
60 fuel trucks
– Armed Forces of Ukraine pic.twitter.com/2JWlTr6xLM
— Michael MacKay (@mhmck) March 15, 2022
Estimations of casualties vary widely, but the Ukrainian military claims to have killed or injured around 13,500 Russian personnel between Feb. 24 and Tuesday.
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