Pro-Russians claim they downed Ukraine military plane

Pro-Russians claim they downed Ukraine military plane

Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:40PM GMT

Pro-Russia forces in eastern Ukraine say they have shot down a Ukrainian military plane.

A recent video purportedly shows the moment when the Ukrainian military transport airplane, Antonov-26, was hit in the eastern Ukrainian region of Lugansk.

Officials announced that the aircraft’s five crew members parachuted out as soon as they were targeted.

Oleksiy Dmytrashkivsky, a spokesman for Ukraine’s controversial military operations, said the army lost contact with the plane earlier on Monday when it was flying more than 6,000 meters above the ground.

“Today, at around lunchtime, contact with this plane was lost. I cannot add anything more,” he said.

Military authorities added that the aircraft was hit after it threw down supplies for troops based in Krasnodon area of Lugansk.

Meanwhile, other reports say that pro-Russia forces have destroyed 27 Ukrainian armored vehicles near Lugansk.

Ukraine’s mainly Russian-speaking parts in the east have witnessed deadly clashes between pro-Russia protesters and the Ukrainian army since the government in Kiev launched operations in mid-April in a bid to crush the pro-Moscow protests.

The violence intensified after Donetsk and Lugansk held local referendums on May 11, in which the residents of the two eastern regions voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Ukraine. The referendums echoed a March vote in Ukraine’s then autonomous region of Crimea that led to the integration of the Black Sea peninsula into the Russian Federation.

Hundreds of people have been killed in the ongoing military campaign in Ukraine, which has also forced tens of thousands to escape to Russia.

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