Video of Alleged Downed Russian Ka-52 Helicopter in Ukraine Goes Viral

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

In addition to being shared on Twitter, where it was viewed nearly 300,000 times on one account, the video has also been published on numerous subreddit threads. On the subreddit r/interestingasf**k, the post received more than 60,000 votes.

"Ka-52 Hokum B attack helicopter in apparent forced landing after suffering damage, 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.

Helicopter
A video is making its rounds on social media that shows an alleged downed Russian helicopter in Ukraine. Here, helicopters fire during joint exercises of the armed forces of Russia and Belarus as part of an inspection of the Union State's Response Force. MAXIM GUCHEK/Getty Images

The Guardian reported that Ukrainian officials said one Russian Ka-52 helicopter and three 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 bort number removed—replaced with a white 'V,'" Dempsey pointed out in a follow-up tweet that is accompanied by several images.

One commenter on Reddit wondered where the pilots went.

"Probably [ditched] on foot and now they try to make a run for it," r/MikeAndBike wrote.

Responding to that comment, r/henkeBF2Rc theorized that the pilots may be trying to get back to Russia.

"This is on Ukrainian territory," r/MikeAndBike pointed out. "They are most likely doomed if they come across Ukrainian soldiers, or even civilians."

Ukraine's Ministry of Internal Affairs released a statement Thursday morning asking citizens to report "suspicious people" they might see on the streets, while reminding civilians not to go outside in uniform or tactical clothing.

Another commenter wondered about the state of the helicopter and asked if there were bullet holes in it.

"Could be shrapnel," r/Arthur_9090 offered as a possible explanation. "A lot of surface air missiles explode on proximity so the missile may not have directly hit the heli and exploded in close proximity to it."

One commenter shared their hope that Ukraine may soon be better equipped.

"Is it bad that I am hoping that NATO has secret operatives on the ground training and equipping Ukraine with state of the art military equipment?" r/jvgeli62321 wrote.

Other videos have been shared on social media that appeared to show Russian military aircraft in Ukraine's airspace, as Newsweek reported.

One video, for example, showed a Russian attack helicopter in the Ukrainian airspace over Luhansk, per Twitter user Thomas van Linge.

Western leaders have since condemned the invasion. President Joe Biden has been applauded by lawmakers for imposing economic sanctions against Russia.