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Russia Gets Attack Helicopters For North Caucasus District

MOSCOW (RFE/RL) -- Russia's North Caucasus military district has received six Mi-28N Night Hunter attack helicopters, but officials have not said whether the procurement is tied to any specific security threat, RFE/RL's North Caucasus Service reports.

Military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer told RFE/RL's Russian Service earlier this week that "these aircraft are practically useless in the counterinsurgency warfare that the army is conducting in the North Caucasus."

But he added that they "might come in handy if, for instance, a new war with Georgia breaks out."

The helicopters have been embedded with combat units and are designed to conduct search-and-destroy missions against battle tanks, helicopters, ground forces, or armor.

The Russian Defense Ministry plans to procure between 45 and 67 Mi-28Ns in the next few years.

The North Caucasus military district includes Chechnya, and reportedly there are troops from that unit inside the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.