Ukraine: Air Force jet downed by Russian missile

2014-07-17 18:00
An F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft from Shaw Air Force Base landing after performing a training mission of basic fighter maneuvers in Azraq, Jordan. (Wolfram Stumpf, AFP)

An F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft from Shaw Air Force Base landing after performing a training mission of basic fighter maneuvers in Azraq, Jordan. (Wolfram Stumpf, AFP)

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Kiev - A Ukrainian fighter jet was shot down by an air-to-air missile from a Russian plane and Ukrainian troops were fired upon by missiles from a village inside Russia, a spokesman for Ukraine's Security Council said on Thursday.

The alleged episodes mark what Ukraine says is mounting evidence that Moscow is directly supporting the separatist insurgents in eastern Ukraine who have been seen to have substantial quantities of powerful weapons in recent weeks.

Security Council spokesperson Andrei Lysenko said the pilot of the Sukhoi-25 jet hit by the air-to-air missile on Wednesday evening was forced to bail after his jet was shot down. He said the rockets launched at Ukrainian troops were fired from the Russian village of Kuibyshevo.

Pro-Russia rebels, meanwhile, claimed responsibility for strikes on Wednesday on two Ukrainian Sukhoi-25 jets.

The Defence Ministry said the second jet was hit by a portable surface-to-air missile, but added the pilot was unscathed and managed to land his plane safely

Moscow denies Western charges that is supporting the separatists or sowing unrest in its neighbour. The Russian Ministry of Defence could not be reached for comment on Thursday about the latest accusations and Russia's foreign ministry did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

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