In an interview with Ukrainska Pravda, the founder of the Azov Regiment, Andriy Biletsky, praised the exceptional heroism of the helicopter crews, which delivered reinforcements, weapons, medicine and other essentials to the defenders of the Russian-occupied Mariupol.
According to Biletsky, there were more than five attempts to transfer aid to Ukrainian fighters at Azovstal, and the vast majority, except for the last two, were successful.
"Everything worked out initially. And in the end it became clear that the enemy is developing, watching, it understands that helicopters are breaking into Mariupol. In these attempts, above all we must highlight the heroism and exceptional professionalism of Ukrainian pilots," he said.
Biletsky noted that in no historical film, such as Black Hawk Down, did Americans allow themselves to enter more than a hundred kilometers into a stacked-up air defense system while patrolling occupying fighter jets in the air. Allegedly, such operations were unprecedented in the history of mankind.
According to the founder of Azov, this special operation was planned and conducted under the auspices of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.
Biletsky says his role was to organize the landing. Thanks to a special operation, 72 Azov fighters were transported in by helicopters to strengthen the city's defenses.
"Doctors agreed to fly in the helicopter during the last flight. It was a nurse, an anesthesiologist, two surgeons — a total of five medics, civilians. These are people from Dnipro… They are real heroes in my eyes," Biletsky said.
According to him, it was difficult for everyone to fly, but the most difficult for the first and those who already knew that the Russians had calculated the flight route and deployed air defense equipment accordingly.
"They flew, clearly realizing that the probability of [dying] is just enormous. But they flew because they understood that our people were dying there," the Azov commander stressed.