The Kremlin has released footage of a Russian helicopter squad training in Syria on how to winch injured troops from places too dangerous to land.
The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the main objective of the training session was to practice rescuing wounded soldiers from a hovering helicopter.
Footage of the exercise shows a Soviet-era Mi 8 chopper using a winch to lower and raise a trooper while a machine gun crew sees off a simulated attack.
The Russian MoD said on 17th May: “Footage of an exercise with units of the Russian Armed Forces in Syria to evacuate the wounded using a Mi-8 helicopter hovering above the ground.
“During the exercise, the group, which included pilots, technicians and reconnaissance soldiers, practiced working in teams.
“One soldier went down to the ground using the winch. The lift capacity of the winch is enough to support the weight of two fully-equipped fighters.
“Meanwhile, the descending soldier could only communicate with technicians onboard the helicopter by using gestures.
“The whole operation took place under the cover of sharpshooters in the Mi-8, who were ready to open fire on ground targets.”
Russian servicemen Kirill said: “We worked out how to evacuate the wounded when it is not possible to land the helicopter on the ground.
“For example, in a mined area, when there are reservoirs, mountainous regions, and other places where the chopper cannot land and we need to rescue a wounded soldier.”
Mi-8 helicopter pilot Sergei said: “The pilot’s main task when descending to an unmade platform is to keep everyone safe and in place and prevent a lateral roll.
“The whole crew has to take into account the wind speed and propeller angle.”