Azerbaijan mistakenly shot down a Russian Mi-24 combat helicopter over Armenia, killing two crew members and injuring a third.
Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement admitting the incident. The statement said that the “Azerbaijani side apologizes to the Russian side in connection with this tragic incident”, which is “accidental and was not directed against the Russian side”.
The statement added that Azerbaijan is ready to pay appropriate compensation
Russia said a missile downed its Mi-24 accompanying a column of Russian troops in Armenia, where Russia has a base. The incident came amid fierce fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenian separatists for Nagorno-Karabakh. But the helicopter was reportedly not downed near the clashes.
Full Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan (No:405/20):
According to information received by the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Azerbaijan from the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, on November 9 of this year, at 18:30 a military helicopter MI-24 of the Russian Federation was shot down on the Nakhchivan section of the Armenia-Azerbaijan state border.
In this regard, the following should be emphasized:
– the helicopter flight took place in close proximity to the Armenian-Azerbaijani state border, while active military clashes continue in the zone of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
– the flight took place in the dark, at low altitude, outside the air defense radar detection zone.
– Russian Air Force helicopters have not been seen in the specified area before.
In the context of the mentioned factors and in the light of the tense situation in the region and increased combat readiness in connection with possible provocations by the Armenian side, the combat crew on duty took the decision to open fire.
The Azerbaijani side apologizes to the Russian side in connection with this tragic incident, which is accidental and was not directed against the Russian side.
The Azerbaijani side expresses its sincere condolences to the families of the perished crew members and wishes the injured people a speedy recovery.
The Azerbaijani side declares its readiness to pay appropriate compensation.