Russian chopper on UN mission in Congo

The Russian MI-26T helicopter has started performing a UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with almost a month's delay.

Its mission should have started on July 21, but on that day the helicopter was detained in Sudan during its flight to the DRC. The Sudanese authorities accused the Russians of allegedly having made landings in areas controlled by the rebels. The Russian Foreign Ministry and UN representatives had to intervene before the MI-26T crew was released.

The helicopter belongs to the Russian Vertical-T company based in Tver, a city not far from Moscow. One of the company's leaders, Kirill Anosov, told RIA Novosti correspondent that the helicopter would mainly carry foodstuffs for the UN contingent and for the local population, and also construction materials. The company had signed a contract with the UN for half a year with a possibility of prolongation for another six months.

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