Donetsk, Mar 31 - DAN. One of the two Ukrainian Mi-8 helicopters which were flying to Mariupol from the Ukraine-controlled territory was downed with a captured US-made man-portable Stinger air defense system, Donetsk People’s Republic People’s Militia deputy commander Eduard Basurin said on Thursday.

“Updated reports said that one of the Mi-8 helicopters had been downed by a trained crew who used a Stinger shoulder-fired air defense system captured in clashes for Mariupol,” Basurin said.

DPR militiamen found “Azov” nationalists bodies at the helicopter crash site. “Two gunmen survived; at present, operational activities are being conducted with them,” he added.

Earlier on Thursday, reports said that DPR militiamen had downed two Ukrainian helicopter flying to Mariupol. One of them crashed in the Rybatskoye settlement area.

Stinger is a US-made man-portable air-defense system that operates as an infrared homing surface-to-air missile. It is intended to destroy airborne targets, from planes to unmanned aerial vehicles and cruise missiles, and can be used to fire at waterborne and surface targets.*jk