A Russian Mi-24 helicopter gunship was shot down over Armenia, killing two crew members, and injuring the third one. Azerbaijan admitted that it shot down the aircraft by mistake.
“The Mi-24 helicopter came under fire from the ground of a man-portable air-defense system [MANPADS],” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement. The aircraft was escorting a column of vehicles out of the Russian 102nd Military Base in Gyumri, Armenia. The Armenian Ministry of Emergency Situations announced that it sent help to the crash site.
Shortly after the incident was reported on November 9, 2020, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry admitted that the Mi-24 had been mistakenly shot down by its troops, after what they believed were “provocations of the Armenian side” in the context of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The Baku government is ready to pay compensation to Moscow, TASS reported.
Fights have been raging in the landlocked region of Nagorno-Karabakh since September 27, 2020. The conflict opposes the Azerbaijani forces and their Turkish ally, and the local population of the separatist region supported by Armenia. More than 1,300 people have been killed. On the day of the crash, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire to end hostilities in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, under the aegis of Russia. The agreement sparked violent protests in Armenia, where it is seen as an admission of defeat. Russia deployed nearly 2,000 soldiers as peacekeepers.