WATCH: Russian Helicopter Gets Blown out of the Sky, Illustrates Putin's Big Issue

There’s been a lot of lore emanating from the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. No doubt, some of the stories of heroism we are hearing have been exaggerated or manufactured. In a kinetic war where morale is key to keeping the resistance to foreign invaders going, that’s not unexpected, and don’t kid yourself, Russia is putting out false information as well.


What’s clearly not embellished, though, is that Vladimir Putin’s forces have found themselves in a far more difficult position than expected. As I’ve said from the beginning, I believe this will still end up with Ukraine at the negotiating table. Kyiv is essentially surrounded and the Russians have taken significant territory.

But no matter how much land is technically “taken,” the cardinal issue remains the ability of the Russians to hold it. The Western alliances are now pouring war materials into Ukraine, and it’s having a very real impact, both physically and psychologically. Babak Taghvee, an account I’ve recommended many times during several past conflicts for its accuracy, put out a video this morning illustrating Putin’s big problem.

The visuals alone are incredible. One helicopter is hit and the rest start popping flares. Then you see one Mi-24P (the rest of the helicopters were Mi-8MTV-5s) slam into the river. Hearing the Ukrainians cheer is probably the best part, though. You can feel the visceral excitement coming through the screen. It’s inspiring to see men, basically stuck in an insurgent conflict at this point, just trying to save their homeland. If you value American nationalism, you have to respect it when you see others putting their lives on the line to protect their borders and freedom. I hate to sound like a softy, but the entire spectacle almost made me tear up.


Regardless, the clip is instructive because it shows the problem the Russians are having and will continue to have if they continue their misadventure in Ukraine. As I said, they can “take” land, but if the Ukrainians are willing to continue the fight, and there’s every indication to believe that’s the case, the meat grinder will only get worse.

Even though American forces suffered thousands of losses to low-tech, insurgent fighters in Afghanistan and Iraq, those casualties were relatively limited when put in context. Russia does not have the same technological and organizational edge that the United States does, and we are seeing that play out in real-time with Putin’s forces taking far greater losses in a far shorter period of time. While fantastical stories like the “ghost of Kyiv” may be a myth, it’s not a myth that the Russians have had many helicopters, transport planes, and tanks destroyed at this point.

With the Ukrainians rejecting Russia’s ridiculous offer to basically become a puppet state, that means the conflict will continue for now. I don’t want to give false hope, because there will likely be concessions made in the end. In the meantime, you have to question how many losses Putin is willing to sustain, not just because of the physical loss of life, but because every downed helicopter and abandoned tank is an embarrassment for his military. Russia prides itself in projecting strength beyond what it’s actually capable of. That facade is being destroyed at this moment.



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