Aliyev Apologizes to Putin for Incident With Russian Helicopter


The Russian military earlier said its Mi-24 helicopter was downed from a man-portable air defense system (MANPADS) over the territory of Armenia, which Azerbaijan has claimed responsibility for, saying it shot down the aircraft by mistake, Sputnik reported.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev called his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on early Tuesday to apologize for the incident with the Russian Mi-24 helicopter on Armenian-Azerbaijani border.

Aliyev assured Putin that those responsible for the incident will be punished, and Moscow will be informed.

The Azerbaijani side earlier admitted that it accidentally shot down a Russian helicopter, apologized and expressed its readiness to pay compensation to Russia. In a letter to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Azerbaijani Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov said that he downed Russian Mi-24 helicopter had been flying in the dark, at low altitude and outside the air defense radar detection zone.

Baku added that the incident was not directed against the Russian side.

The Prosecutor General’s Office of Azerbaijan has launched an investigation into the incident. Armenia’s Prosecutor General’s Office said it has opened a criminal case in connection with the downing of the Russian Mi-24 helicopter.

Two crew members died as a result of the crash, one was evacuated with moderate injuries.