The Russian Mi-24 helicopter crashed in Armenia after being subjected to fire from the ground, Moscow officials say. The incident took place near the border with Azerbaijan.
The crash occurred on Monday evening as the helicopter was escorting a motorcade to the Russian military base. The aircraft was hit by a missile from a portable air-defense system, whereupon it lost control and plunged into mountainous terrain on Armenian soil.
"The Russian Mi-24 helicopter was shot down in the airspace over the territory of the Republic of Armenia outside the combat zone," stressed the official representative of the Ministry of Defense, Major General Igor Konashenkov.
Footage available online purportedly shows the scene of the incident.
Two of the helicopter’s flight crew members were killed and one was evacuated with moderate injuries, the Defense Ministry has reported.
The incident took place amid the escalation of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the long-disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, where active hostilities resumed on September 27. Baku and Yerevan accused each other of shelling residential areas. The parties have signed cease-fire agreements three times, but the fighting continues to this day.