Three Russian military helicopters shot down in half an hour

Three Russian military helicopters shot down in half an hour

Ukraine has destroyed three Russian helicopters in just half an hour, its air force has claimed.

Last night three Ka-52 choppers became the latest casualties of Vladimir Putin's botched invasion, with an estimated 281 of the Kremlin's helicopters downed since the outbreak of war 11 months ago.

The £12million single-seat aircraft is nicknamed the Black Shark and has been described as Russia's 'deadliest helicopter'.

Meanwhile, a Ukrainian spy chief has warned that if Russia's new offensive fails, it could be the 'ruin' of president Putin.

The Ka-52's battlefield management system allows it to share data with other aircraft to coordinate attacks.

The air force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said: “For half an hour of anti-aircraft combat from 00:00 to 00:30 on January 24, units of the anti-aircraft missile forces of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine destroyed three Russian Ka-52 attack helicopters in the eastern direction.”

Kyiv is anticipating an imminent three-pronged attack from the north in Belarus, from Russian strongholds of Donetsk and Luhansk in the east, and in the south from the Crimean peninsula.

If successful, Moscow's troops would encircle defending forces in the pincer movement which would drive back Ukraine after a series of advances in recent months