FACT CHECK: Video Claims Ukrainian Forces Shot Down KA-52 Helicopters On October 1

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A video shared on Facebook claims Ukrainian forces shot down a Russian Ka-52 helicopter on Oct. 1.

Verdict: Misleading

Ukraine has not claimed to have destroyed Ka-52 helicopters in recent days. The last confirmed Ka-52 helicopter loss was in mid-September.

Fact Check:

Social media users are sharing a video claiming that Ukrainian forces destroyed Ka-52 helicopters with man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS). The video’s caption reads, “Horrible (Oct 01 2023) Ukrainian Forces Use Manpads Shoot Down Russian Ka-52 Helicopters To Pieces.” (RELATED: Russia Today Headline Claiming Prigozhin’s Pilot Had Post-Vaccine Myocarditis Is Fabricated)

This claim, however, lacks evidence. If Ukrainian forces had shot down Ka-52 helicopters with MANPADS in recent days, media outlets would have covered it, yet none have. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense (MOD) claimed Ukraine has shot down 316 helicopters as of Sept. 27. That number has not changed since then, according to combat losses recorded by the Ukrainian MOD.

The last visually recorded Ka-52 loss was Sept. 16, according to Warspotting, a website that tracks visually confirmed military equipment losses. The Institute for Understanding War (ISW), a think tank that tracks the Russian-Ukrainian war, wrote in a Sept. 28 campaign assessment that “Russian Su-35 attack aircraft and Ka-52 helicopters are increasingly active in the Kupyansk and Lyman directions” though notes that Ukraine has shot down Ka-52 helicopters.

“Ukrainian forces appear to have increased their ability to down Russian Ka-52 helicopters in mid-August 2023, and the Russian command may have decreased aviation use in western Zaporizhia Oblast out of fears of aviation and pilot losses,” reads the ISW report.

Misinformation around the Russian-Ukrainian war is not new. Check Your Fact recently addressed a recent claim that thousands of Ukrainian troops are surrendering in the southern Ukraine area.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
Follow Elias on Twitter Have a fact check suggestion? Send ideas to [email protected].