Military Aircraft Crashed, Pilot Killed near Disveli, Georgia

Update (0908 EST): The Georgian pilot has been identified, who is in fact, a Su-25 pilot, further proving earlier claims of a helicopter crash were false.

Deceased pilot Kakhaber Zurabashvili in 2022 in front of his Su-25. Credit: Radio Tavisupleba

At approximately 0620 EST, Georgian media reported that a military helicopter had crashed near Disveli, Georgia. The claims of a military helicopter going down were repeated by other Georgian outlets. However, by 0730 EST, Info Rustavia reported the Georgian Defense Ministry confirmed an incident with the below statement:

“On July 2 of this year, during one of the planned military exercises involving the aviation component, one of the flying machines belonging to the Defence Forces suffered a disaster.

Kakhaber Zurabashvili, a pilot of the Defense Forces’ aviation and air command, was tragically killed in the Su-25 disaster.

In order to determine the causes of the mentioned incident, the relevant services of the Ministry of Defense shall conduct a detailed examination. The Ministry of Defence expresses its sadness over the tragic accident and condolences to the family and relatives of the fallen pilot”

However, even the article naming the aircraft as a Su-25 still contains stock images of a military Mi-8 helicopter. Therefore, it is unclear if this is a translation issue or if a Georgian Su-25 Tactical Aircraft did indeed crash. This report will be updated once an official announcement from the Georgian Defense Ministry portal is made or footage from the crash site emerges.