Azerbaijan has quickly owned up to the downing of the Russian military helicopter early Monday evening (local time). According to TASS citing official statements from Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry:
Azerbaijan downed Russian helicopter by mistake, the republic’s Foreign Ministry announced.
Baku is ready to compensate Moscow for the downed helicopter.
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry expressed condolences over the death of the crew members of the downed Russian helicopter.
Though the incident is still being investigated, the Russian Ministry of Defense put out a statement indicating two of its pilots were killed. The MoD said a portable air-defense system was fired on the gunship from the ground near the village of Yeraskh close to the border with Azerbaijan.
Unconfirmed footage of the shoot down is circulating via Russian sources:
The incident comes after Azerbaijan’s army has reportedly been making big gains on the ground in Nagorno-Karabakh over the past days.
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There are breaking reports out of Interfax and Sputnik Armenia that a Russian helicopter has been shot down over Armenian territory related to intense fighting in the Nagorno-Karabakh contested border region.
Interfax is reporting that two Russian pilots were killed in the fiery crash and at least one other injured. Rescue operations and an investigation are underway.
The largest public radio broadcaster of Armenia has aired the following early details:
A Russian helicopter has crashed in Armenia’s Ararat Province, the Ministry of Emergency Situations reports. The Ministry says it received an alarm from Ararat Regional Crisis Management Center at 6:39 pm today.
The helicopter crashed in the gorge between the villages of Yeraskh and Paruyr Syak. Fire and rescue brigades have been dispatched to the scene.
Armenian military news sites are circulating nighttime footage of what appears to be a helicopter going down, but the video is unverified.