A serviceman of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has reportedly killed a Russian colonel, who was Moscow's best helicopter pilot.
The 93rd Separate Kholodnyi Yar Mechanized Brigade made the announcement about the colonel's death on Facebook on Monday.
"Soldier Artur Illiuk, a serviceman from our brigade, fired an accurate shot with the Igla man-portable air-defense system and eliminated the best helicopter pilot of the Russian Aerospace Forces, colonel Vasiliy Kleshchenko," the statement read, according to Ukrinform.
Vasiliy Kleshchenko, who led the parade during Victory Day in Moscow last year, served as a deputy head of the occupier country's 344th Center for Combat Employment and Retraining of Personnel of Army Aviation.
He had operated the Ka-52 "Alligator" helicopter during last year's parade.
Ukraine's intelligence officers recovered Kleshchenko's body, and "handed it over for exchange," the statement said.
Russia's Ka-52 "Alligator" helicopter was shot down in April 2022. The helicopter went down in front of the brigade's positions near the village of Husarivka, Balakliia District, Kharkiv Region. At the time, Ukraine's fighters could not fully study the crash site.
Officials with the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry could access the scene only in June.
The 93rd Separate Kholodnyi Yar Mechanized Brigade shared images of the helicopter's wreckage.
"This night was extremely effective for one of the mechanized battalions of the 93rd Kholodny Yar brigade. In his zone of responsibility, a Russian Ka-52 combat helicopter made a forced landing with subsequent frying," the caption of the photos read [Google Translate]. "The occupiers planned to attack the equipment and manpower of the Cold War soldiers, however, our fighters made adjustments to their plans and sent their pilots to the kobzon concert."
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said Wednesday more than 200 Russian soldiers had been killed in the last 24 hours. The Armed Forces of Ukraine eliminated nearly 44,100 Russian invaders since the war in Ukraine began on Feb. 24.
Meanwhile, Ukraine's Operational Command South said in a Facebook post Kyiv's Air Force aircraft in the southern part of the country attacked a Russian stronghold Tuesday. Four clusters of enemy manpower and military equipment were damaged in the attack.