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Ukraine says it destroyed 9 Russian helicopters in airfield attacks

by editor

KYIV — Ukrainian special forces early on Tuesday struck two Russian military airfields, saying they successfully destroyed nine Russian military helicopters, an anti-aircraft missile system, and an ammunition warehouse.

The attacks took place in occupied Berdyansk, a southern city in the Zaporizhzhia region; and at an airfield in Luhansk, an occupied city in eastern Ukraine.

The special forces also managed to successfully damage airfield runways, Ukraine said, in what it called “Operation Dragonfly.”

“The ammunition depot in Berdyansk detonated until 4 a.m. The detonation in Luhansk continued until 11 a.m. Losses in the enemy’s manpower amount to dozens of dead and wounded. Bodies are still being pulled from the rubble,” Ukrainian Special Operations Forces said in a statement.

In an earlier statement, the Ukrainian army general staff reported only two helicopters and an ammunition depot were destroyed.

The updated number of destroyed aircraft explains the consternation from Russian pro-war military bloggers who have already described the latest attack as one of the most serious counterstrikes by Ukraine, “If not the most serious. There are losses in both people and equipment,” Telegram channel Fighterbomber, reportedly linked to Ilya Tumanov, Russian air force captain, reported Tuesday.

In an unusually early statement, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Ukrainian forces for the successful attack and nodded to “effective” Western weapons. “I thank some of our partners. That is indeed an effective weapon, as we agreed,” Zelenskyy said, revealing no more details.

This article has been updated.

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