Russia: June 24, 2002


A Russian crewmember was wounded when Chechen rebels attacked a MI-24 helicopter in the Nozhai-Yurt district on 24 June, although the helicopter's crew managed to take the Hind fire support aircraft back to the base and land safely. Rebels also fired assault rifles and machine-guns at helicopters five times in the previous week, probably since the Federal policy since May was that helicopter crews could not respond to fires from ground on their own and had apply to their command for permission. The rebels were apparently "hunting" MI-8 Hip and MI-26 Halo transport helicopters, locating their firing points mostly within villages. Taking into account the most recent attacks, the Russian command has once again allowed helicopters crews to respond rebel attacks from ground immediately, without asking for permission and regardless of firing points locations. - Adam Geibel


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