16 Ukraine soldiers were killed in deadly checkpoint attack. Ukrainian Air Force helicopters strafed their own troops? Most probably, no.
A Ukrainian checkpoint at Blagodatnoe village, near the town of Volnovakha, was assaulted on May 22. 16 soldiers were killed and about 30 wounded.
According to RT, the attackers arrived in transit vans, with combat helicopters providing cover for them.
The attackers began shooting at the soldiers at the checkpoint and one of the shells hit an ammunition depot, causing a huge explosion.
Some eyewitnesses captured the events unfold on video. One of these videos shows Mil Mi-24 Hind gunships flying at very low altitude above the area, deploying flares.
Here’s an another video which shows the same scene from the ground. This video is even more interesting as it shows the attack from the soldiers point of view. The footage clearly shows the helicopters flying at ultra-low altitude in the aftermath of the massive explosion.
According to some sources, the helicopters that can be seen in the video strafed the Ukrainian soldiers at the checkpoint in a blue-on-blue episode.
However, both videos may show a different story.
They arrived over the checkpoint after the first explosion. Then they circled in the vicinity deploying flares, most probably because they were concerned by MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defense Systems).
There is no evidence any of the helicopters really fired and the gun fire that can be heard in the footage may come from the ground.
Obviously, the entire scene must have been confusing from the air and on the ground, hence the reports of friendly fire or mutiny.
H/T to Steppen Wolf for sending the links and providing additional information.