The battle for Kyiv. Snake Island. The Azovstal steel plant.
Vadym, a 23-year-old Ukrainian pilot, flew harrowing missions to all three of these legendary battles in his Soviet-era MI-8 helicopter.
In GoPro footage Vadym shared with Scripps News, he shows how he flew fast, hugging the surface of the Black Sea to avoid radar detection — while attacking Russian positions on Snake Island.
"We were flying at a height of around three feet," Vadym says. "And there was a feeling that water was pouring into the cabin. That was scary."
What types of missions are Ukraine's helicopter pilots tasked with performing? How do they do it?
In an interview aboard his chopper, at a secret base in central Ukraine, Vadym answered questions critical to understanding the low-profile, high-impact role these aviators play.
And, in our video, he shares his remarkable flight footage and stunning stories.
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