Russian military sources believe that Chechen terrorists launched a surface-to-air missile or a heavy machine-gun against the helicopter, which had 117 military personnel on board. There are said to be 85 dead and 32 survivors.
The incident took place at 16.50 MSK on Monday near the Russian military headquarters in Jankala, near Grozny, the Chechen capital, according to military sources quoted by ITAR-TASS. The MI-26 is a gigantic transport helicopter capable of carrying a load of 20 tonnes.
The Chechen terrorists have claimed responsibility for the shooting down on the aircraft on their website. Meanwhile, the Kremlin has announced that “an exhaustive investigation” of the incident will take place.
Timothy BANCROFT.HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru