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Ukrainian military confirms loss of two of its Mi-8 helicopters

It is noted that investigators are working to establish the details and circumstances of what happened

MOSCOW, August 31. /TASS/. The Armed Forces of Ukraine have confirmed the loss of two of their Mi-8 helicopters in Kiev-controlled areas of the Donetsk People’s Republic.

Ilya Yevlash, a spokesman at the battlegroup East of Ukraine, conceded the losses in a statement to the RBC-Ukraine news agency.

The spokesman of the Ukrainian 18th Army Aviation Brigade, Yevgeny Rakita, said on Wednesday that six pilots from the Igor Sikorsky 18th Separate Army Aviation Brigade were killed on August 29 near Artyomovsk. Rakita said nothing at the time about losing any aircraft.

Yevlash, the Ukrainian battlegroup spokesman, said the incident occurred in the Kramatorsk District, and its reasons remained unknown.

"Yes, indeed, there was a crash involving two Mi-8 helicopters. They were carrying out a combat mission," he said. "Tentatively, six people were killed in the crash."

He said investigators are working to establish the details and circumstances of what happened.

The State Investigation Bureau of Ukraine said that a criminal investigation had been started into the crash of military helicopters, with preliminary causes of the crash identified as a violation of the rules for flights or preparation for flights. The agency also officially confirmed that six people were killed in the crash, and all of them were military personnel. The Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office said that both helicopters were completely destroyed in the incident.

The Mi-8 is a family of Soviet and Russian helicopters, and one of the world’s most produced helicopters. The base model was designed by the design bureau of Mikhail Mil in the early 1960s. More than 130 civilian and military modifications were then developed. The maximum speed of the machine is 240 km/h, practical ceiling is 6 kilometers, maximum takeoff weight is 13 tons, maximum range with main fuel tanks is 620 km, passenger capacity is up to 26 people, crew is three people. In total, more than 12,000 of these machines have been produced. They were sold to more than 100 countries of the world.