Ukrainian journalist Yuriy Butusov said on August 9, 2022, that Ukrainian defenders successfully eliminated Russian pilot Vasyl Kleschenko. The deputy chief of the 344th State Center of Army Aviation of Russia is considered “the best helicopter pilot in Russia.”
Source: Ukrainian journalist Yuriy Butusov
Butusov emphasized that Colonel Kleschenko is an example of what the entire Russian military aviation will look like in Ukraine.
“It is interesting that Kleschenko’s catapult did not work, the parachute straps were either broken or cut off. We were able to remove the parts and remains from the gray zone only at the beginning of July.”
According to him, Kleschenko was shot down by a Ukrainian MANPADS operator at night, at an extremely low altitude, directly above Russian positions. Butusov also noted that the Russian pilot was considered the best specialist with the Ka-52 Alligator, and even on May 9, 2021, he led a helicopter parade over Red Square in Moscow.
As for the Ukrainian fighter who destroyed Kleschenko, his identity has not yet been revealed.