Putin loses 55th colonel when attack helicopter 'explodes in fireball'

Moment Putin’s 55th colonel was killed when his helicopter ‘was blown out the sky by Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile’

  • Incredible video shows the moment a Russian colonel’s chopper is taken down 
  • Sergey Gundorov was killed in Donbas, the latest Putin stooge killed in Ukraine
  • The struck helicopter hit the ground before cartwheeling and catching fire
  • Gundorov’s death came after completing a ‘combat mission’: Russian account

Dramatic footage shows the moment a Russian colonel crashes in his helicopter after being hit with a Ukrainian missile.

Lt-Col Sergey Gundorov, 51, was struck near Volnovakha in the Donbas.

The military helicopter flew on after being hit with a portable surface-to-air missile.

His stricken Mi-35 touched the ground before cartwheeling over a narrow strip of woodland and crashing in a fireball in a field.

Sergey Gundorov, 51 (left and right), has become the 55th Russian colonel killed in Ukraine since February 24. The high-ranking pilot had previously won three orders of courage

Flames and black smoke are seen from the explosion.

Gundorov (centre) is pictured with his two sons

A second Russian helicopter is seen firing decoy flares and apparently escapes unscathed.

Gundorov is the 55th known Russian colonel to be killed in Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.

A Russian account on the death of the high-ranked pilot, first class, said: ‘Bright eternal memory to the Hero who left on his last flight.

‘Pilots don’t die, they fly into the sky…The best men are leaving us.’

He died after completing a ‘combat mission’, it was claimed.

Gundorov had previously won three Orders of Courage.

Dramatic footage shows the military helicopter crash land before cartwheeling into a fireball

He died on 16 June but his loss is only now acknowledged.

Putin (pictured on June 18) has seen dozens of his top brass die since the war began

Among condolences to the colonel, a married father of two, was a message from his teenage younger son Ilya saying simply: ‘Love you Dad.’

Family pictures show him with his sons and wife Anzhela.

His death follows the loss of two colonels announced on the same day last week — highly decorated Colonel Sergei Krasnikov, 56, who had volunteered to rejoin the forces to go to war, and Colonel Sergei Postnov – in his 40s.

Putin has also lost at least 11 generals.

Overall Russian losses are believed to be in excess of 30,000.

The Russian attack helicopter is said to have completed a mission before its dramatic crash

The news came days after Russia was thought to have lost two colonels in 24 hours.

Highly decorated Colonel Sergei Krasnikov, 56, a renowned action man who had parachuted at the North Pole, died in an ambush on a reconnaissance mission.

A trained paratrooper, he had switched in the criminal justice system before volunteering to fight in the Russian army in Ukraine, say reports.

Ukrainians survey damage in Lyubotyn near Kharkiv today after the train station was destroyed

American actor Ben Stiller was also pictured in a surprise meeting with Volodymyr Zelensky

Krasikov had been head coach of the Russian national parachuting team.

Earlier, the death of Colonel Sergei Postnov – in his 40s – was disclosed.

Putin has also lost at least 11 generals.

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