A Flying Bundle of Sticks
Russians beginning the first cauldron now that the fight for the heights of Popansa is done.
In a war that's been defined by indirect long-range fires spotted by ubiquitous aerial drone surveiliance, the man with a 100 foot elevation advantage is KING!
This sealed the fate of the Mi-8 with UkAF paratroopers
MI-8, you say? ZOOM AND ENHANCE!
Wow, isn't that funny. The tail rotor is clearly on the left side. Hmm. Almost like it isn't an MI-8 "Hip," but the much newer, more powerful and modernized version, the MI-17, as even Wikipedia can tell you. Here's recent imagery of a Ukrainian MI-8 conducting rocket attacks, flying over the cameraman close enough to make the ID roundels very obvious. Notice which side the rotor is on. Hint - not the left side. And last I heard the US welched on their promise to send MI-17s originally slated for the Afghanistan air force to Ukraine. Oh, wait, they changed their tune a week later. Of course they still have to deliver them and since there was a big THING about directly flying Polish Fulcrums directly from NATO airspace into Ukraine ~oh my~ a while back that means cramming those MI-17s into C-5A's and flying them into Poland then stacking them on trailers then driving them into country. How many C-5A's have the plane geeks seen heading into Ukraine? None that I've seen, and I follow those plane tracking twitter accounts. Well, on the flip side, five MI-17s were already in Ukraine for servicing work, but as our friendly local vatniks have reminded us, all of Ukraine's aircraft factories have been blown up by Big Bad Russia, so how exactly did they make operational an aircraft their country does not manufacture, that they do not have spare parts for, with all their servicing facilities blown up? Plus, as recently as May 4th ~US Officials~ were telling the media that the total number of MI-17's "sent" to Ukraine are... "five." In other words, the actual fucking operable ones stateside are still stateside.
And just so its clear, the Mi-8 was hit well away from the Helipad on the Island which wasn't even hit by the Su-27 airstrikes preceding this.
Let's compare them viewsheds, eh?
Wow, look at that! Assuming a 6 foot high man (or a vatnik manlet in platform pumps) both the observed LZ and "mUh hElIpAd" are shielded from direct LOS to ThE StrUcTurEs! Not that it makes much difference on a barren fucking rock that measures 0.17km square anyways, but y'know.
If it had been a Russian bird it would have used the Helipad and its troops would not have taken firing positions while others grabbed heavy gear.
So you're telling me that a Ukrainian bird that can hold ~28 men~ showed up on the island, hit the ground and all of three dudes pop out? Presumably an assault force coming to retake the island? And they don't hit the ground with as many infantryman as they can bring, no, they send three dudes to unload what, exactly? You want to see what an actual helo assault under fire looks like? Click here. Note that you see more than three dudes unassing the helicopter and they sure as hell don't start unloading it.
But I don't want to imply that you might be guilty of, say, spouting half-assed armchair analysis, as I am not a Subject Matter Expert. We have military veterans among us on this very board! Gentlemen! Can you please weigh in - is it standard doctrine, when conducting heliborne assault with a medium-heavy lift helicopter with a personnel capacity of 28-32 men, to disembark exactly three men who start unloading cargo first thing? 🤔