Operation Dragonfly: Ukraine claims 9 helicopters destroyed in attacks on Russian airfields
Photo: John Hamilton / US Army

Ukraine’s Special Operations Forces on Tuesday claimed responsibility for the attacks on airfields in Russian-held Ukrainian cities of Luhansk and Berdiansk, which they say led to losses in Russian aircraft.

Operation Dragonfly, as the special forces called it, destroyed nine Russian helicopters, an air defence unit, an ammunition depot, and "dozens" of Russian troops, the Ukrainian military said in a statement.

According to unconfirmed reports, the airfields had a "large helicopter fleet" of Ka-52s and Mi-8s, as well as several Mi-28s and Mi-24s.

The Special Operations Forces said they received information about a "significant amount" of enemy aircraft and special equipment, including ammunition, at the Luhansk and Berdiansk airfields.

The strikes led not only to losses in Russian military manpower and equipment but also to the runways of the airfields being damaged.

"The enemy's losses in manpower amount to dozens of dead and wounded. Bodies are still being removed from the rubble," the Special Operation Forces added.

So-called ‘military’ Telegram channels, which claim to cover Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine independently from the defence ministry, decried the attack, saying it was "one of the most serious" in the full-scale war and resulted in "losses in equipment and personnel".

Some of them even claimed that Ukraine had used ATACMS long-range missiles, which Kyiv has long asked the US to provide—and which have never been confirmed to have reached Ukrainian soil. As usual, Russian Telegram channels did not provide any evidence to support their claims.