British forces are so short of helicopters in Helmand that they are hiring Russian civilian aircraft to transport supplies.
The Soviet-era Mi-8 and Mi-26 helicopters are flown by freelance Russia and Ukrainian pilots, who face the risk of being shot down by the Taliban. Their ageing aircraft also have a questionable safety record. Troops at UK forward operating bases rely heavily on the civilian helicopters to ferry in food, water, ammunition and other supplies.
It must be painfully obvious to British soldiers in Afghanistan that they have become disposable to their government in this military misadventure.