Ukraine 'downs three Russian helicopters in half an hour' trends now
Ukraine has destroyed three Russian helicopters in just half an hour, its air force has claimed.
Last night three Ka-52 choppers became the latest casualties of Vladimir Putin's botched invasion, with an estimated 281 of the Kremlin's helicopters downed since the outbreak of war 11 months ago.
The £12million single-seat aircraft is nicknamed the Black Shark and has been described as Russia's 'deadliest helicopter'.
Meanwhile, a Ukrainian spy chief has warned that if Russia's new offensive fails, it could be the 'ruin' of president Putin.
Ukraine has destroyed three Russian helicopters in just half an hour (pictured: a serviceman checks a Ka-52 attack helicopter in Luhansk this month)
The Ka-52's battlefield management system allows it to share data with other aircraft to coordinate attacks.
The air force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said today: 'For half an hour of anti-aircraft combat from 00:00 to 00:30 on January 24, units of the anti-aircraft missile forces of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine destroyed three Russian Ka-52 attack helicopters in the eastern direction.'
Kyiv is anticipating an imminent three-pronged attack from the north in Belarus, from Russian strongholds of Donetsk and Luhansk in the east, and in the south from the Crimean peninsula.
If successful, Moscow's troops would encircle defending forces in the pincer movement which would drive back Ukraine after a series of advances in recent months.
But today Vadym Skibitsky, deputy head of Ukraine's military intelligence, told news site Delfi: 'If the major Russian offensive planned for this time fails, it will be the ruin of Russia and Putin.'
US officials say Ukraine is planning to launching its own offensive after a stagnant winter, but have urged the nation to wait until spring once it has received more weaponry.
Ukrainian soldiers ride atop an infantry fighting vehicle during offensive and assault drills in the southern Zaporizhzhia region
A soldier fires a RPG-7 anti-tank grenade launcher during exercises earlier this week