. ‘The impossible’: Ukraine’s secret, deadly rescue missions « JO LEE MAGAZINE

AP  –  As was his habit before each flight, the veteran Ukrainian army pilot ran a hand along the fuselage of his Mi-8 helicopter, caressing the heavy transporter’s metal skin to bring luck to him and his crew.

They would need it. Their destination — a besieged steel mill in the brutalized city of Mariupol — was a death trap. Some other crews didn’t make it back alive.

Still, the mission was vital, even desperate.

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