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Kadyrov Says ‘Strong Winds’ Downed Security Services Helicopter in Chechnya

Elena Afonina /TASS

The head of the Chechen republic Ramzan Kadyrov has said strong winds were responsible for a fatal helicopter crash on Wednesday in the restive North Caucasus region.

The crash was just the latest in a series of fatal aviation accidents this year. A Russian military cargo plane crashed in Syria on Tuesday with 32 passengers dead, while earlier in February, a passenger jet crashed outside Moscow killing all 71 people on board.

In a post on his official Telegram page, Kadyrov said, “Strong winds were blowing as [the helicopter] approached the ground,” adding nine border patrol officers were on board.

“Two passengers managed to jump to the ground, but the helicopter was blown off a cliff. ... It crashed after falling 150 meters.”

The Interfax news agency reported Wednesday that the crash was caused by reduced visibility from snowfall and heavy rain.

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