Azerbaijan claimed responsibility for the downing of a Russian military helicopter, which crashed in the Ararat Province in Armenia on Monday evening local time. The Russian news agency Sputnik-Armenia, citing a source in the Russian military reported the incident.
Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry said the helicopter flew at a low altitude during hours of darkness and close to the state border between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Baku apologized for the incident, with its foreign ministry saying it was an accident and the “move was not aimed against Moscow.” Azerbaijan said its forces decided to open fire due to heightened tensions in its war against Artsakh.
“Most likely, the Russian helicopter was shot down from Nakhichevan and fell in Armenian territory,” the source told Sputnik-Armenia.
Armenia’s Emergency Situations Ministry reported the crash in the hills along the highway that connects the Yeraskh and Paruyr Sevak village. The explosion from the crash caused a fire in the hills.
“We strongly condemn this assault towards the Russian Armed Forces by the Azerbaijani armed forces within the sovereign territory of Armenia,” said Armenia’s Foreign Ministry. “We are convinced that the use of force against the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation will receive an adequate response.”