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Russia humiliated as military helicopters destroyed by Ukrainian strike on Kherson airport

Ukraine: BBC News reporter walks around Russian bodies

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Reports claim that three military helicopters were destroyed on Monday as black smoke was seen billowing from the airport. Large fires around the world are tracked by NASA’s Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS) and the burning wreckage of the Russian aircraft was picked up by the system.

The data collected from the NASA system has said that the military strike occurred around 1.42pm local time.

Russian forces claimed control of Kherson two weeks ago with this strike being the second major attack from Ukrainian forces in an attempt to reclaim their key port.

The amount of smoke coming from the tarmac at the international airport may be obscuring further damage caused by the military strike.

Other smaller fires can be seen around the base including under the plume of smoke which shows that core infrastructure at the airport has also been damaged.

At other areas of the base, wreckage of scorched helicopters can be seen that are no longer burning and showing some of the results of previous attacks on the base.

People have taken to Twitter to express their views on the attack on the airbase, with one user Tim McMillan, a retired Police lieutenant, posting his analysis of drone footage.

He said: “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.”

The Kremlin claimed to have full control of the Kherson region on Tuesday, though the claim made by Russia’s defence ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenov, has not been verified.

The UK Ministry of Defence has issued a warning that Russia may attempt to appoint a pro-Moscow government in Kherson in an attempt to assert “political control”.

Russia “may seek to stage a ‘referendum’ in Kherson in an attempt to legitimise the area as a ‘breakaway republic’ similar to Donetsk and Luhansk and Crimea.”

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Russia’s occupation of Kherson caused thousands of Ukrainians to take to the streets with flags to protest Russian occupation.

Around 2,000 people were seen marching down the city centre with flags and singing the Ukrainian national anthem in a show of resilience.

They also shouted: “Russians go home” and “Kherson is Ukraine”.

The BBC asked a local resident if the Ukrainian military were trying to reclaim the port city and Yevhen replied: “Every night we hear about six or 10 explosions. 

“It sounds like mortars. We don’t know who is bombing whom.”

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