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UK Defense Ministry: Russia commits new attack helicopters in response to Ukrainian counteroffensive

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk July 27, 2023 11:53 AM 2 min read
Ukrainian servicemen look at Fragments of the Russian Military Ka-52 Helicopter Destroyed by Ukrainian Army during Russia's invasion of Ukraine at the Gostomel airfield near Kyiv, Ukraine. July 08, 2022 (Photo by Maxym Marusenko/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Russia has committed new attack helicopters as Ukraine's counteroffensive on the southern front continues, according to the U.K. Defense Ministry intelligence update on July 27.

The U.K. reports that there is evidence Russia is using a small number of new Ka-52M helicopters, which are "heavily modified" versions of the Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopters.

The update states that evidence of this includes photos on social media of Russian aircrew posing next to the new aircraft.

British intelligence estimated that Russia has lost around 40 standard Ka-52 helicopters since the invasion.

"Informed by lessons from Russia's experience in Syria," the U.K. reported that modifications include the integration of LMUR anti-tank missiles, which have a range of around 15 kilometers.

The Russian military is able to launch these weapons "beyond the range of Ukrainian air defenses," added the update.

The New York Times reported on July 26 that the "main thrust" of Ukraine's ongoing counteroffensive is currently in the southeast, and that Ukraine will now deploy thousands of Western-trained reinforcements previously held in reserve.

The same day, the White House stated that Ukrainian forces are moving forward and that the U.S. will continue to supply "the kinds of tools and capabilities they need to stay on the move."

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