History repeats itself as Russian Army faces Stinger missile after four decades in Ukraine

Ukrainian volunteer shot down Ka-52 helicopter using stinger missile. Photo by AP.

Photos and videos have flooded social media following Russia’s attack on Ukraine. One video that shows what appeared to be two downed Russian helicopters in Ukraine has been widely shared on a few different social media platforms.

“Ka-52 attack helicopter in allegedly shot down using stinger missile, reportedly North West of [Kyiv],” Joseph Dempsey, a research associate for defense and military analysis for the International Institute for Strategic Studies, wrote in his tweet that featured the video.

Developed by the U.S. Army in the 1980s, the Stinger is a 35-pound shoulder-mounted missile that uses an infrared sensor to locate an aircraft by its heat. The 5-foot-long missile travels at twice the speed of sound and destroys its target with fragmentation explosives. Stinger missile became major threat to Soviet army in Afghan war in late 1980s.

An Afghan guerrilla with a US-made Stinger anti-aircraft missile in this photo taken between November 1987 and January 1988. (AP Photo/David Stewart Smith)

U.S. military officers provided training for the new missile. Pakistani officers were trained in the U.S. then returned to their country in the latter half of 1986, where they trained Afghan rebels.

Ka-52 helicopter’s wreckage found 20 km South-west in Kyiv. Photo by AP

The Guardian newspaper reported that Ukrainian officials said two Russian Ka-52 helicopters and three transport helicopters near Hostomel were shot down in the Kyiv region.

The video pans over the helicopter, and the person filming gets closer to the aircraft. The door is open, and there is no sign of the previous occupants.

“Note the Ka-52 has had Russia national markings and Russian serial number removed—replaced with a white ‘V’ signs standing for victory”, Dempsey pointed out in a follow-up tweet that is accompanied by several images.

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