Ukraine Destroys $16M Russian ‘Alligator’ Attack Helicopter

Russia has lost one of its prized helicopters in eastern Ukraine, Kyiv’s military said on Monday, after a Ukrainian brigade said it shot down a Russian fighter jet over the weekend.

Ukraine’s 47th Mechanized Brigade took down the Ka-52 “Alligator” attack helicopter close to the fiercely contested eastern Ukrainian city of Avdiivka, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said on X (formerly Twitter). Russia has controlled Avdiivka since February 2024, following months of bitter fighting. Battles to the west of the city have procuded high casualty counts and significant equipment losses.

“New week—new destroyed [R]ussian aircraft,” Kyiv said Monday in the X post. Newsweek has reached out via email to the Russian Defense Ministry for comment.

Each Ka-52 is worth around $16 million, the Ukrainian government said.

Russian Ka-52s
Russian Kamov Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopters fly over downtown Moscow on June 24, 2020. Ukraine’s 47th Mechanized Brigade took down a Russian Ka-52 attack helicopter close to the fiercely contested eastern Ukrainian city of Avdiivka,…


Ukraine has repeatedly targeted the Ka-52 helicopters, which are designed to target tanks, military vehicles, helicopters and soldiers and have a maximum speed of up to 186 miles per hour, according to Russian state military exporter Rosoboronexport.

In July 2023, the British Defense Ministry described the Ka-52 as one of the “most influential Russian weapons systems” and said it had imposed a “heavy cost” on Ukrainian troops operating in the country’s south.

Russia likely beefed up its helicopter fleet with upgraded Ka-52 variants, the U.K. government said at the time, adding that the helicopters were modified to fire anti-tank missiles with a range of approximately 9 miles.

Moscow’s forces have lost a total of 325 helicopters, plus the Ka-52 Ukraine says it shot down on Monday, according to Ukrainian military figures.

On Saturday, Ukraine’s 110th Separate Mechanized Brigade said it had shot down a Russian Su-25 jet but did not offer further details about the location or the timing of the attack.

Russian jets “will keep falling,” the brigade said in a statement posted to social media.

“Thank you for shooting down another Russian Su-25 aircraft!” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his evening address on Saturday, referring to the brigade.

Earlier this month, he said the 110th Separate Mechanized Brigade had shot down a Russian Su-25 over the eastern Donetsk region.

The Ukrainian military said on Monday that Russia has lost a total of 350 aircraft in more than two years of war. In mid-April, the head of the U.S. European Command, General Christopher Cavoli, told U.S. lawmakers that Russia had lost about 10 percent of its aircraft fleet.