News / Europe

    Report: Russia Denies It Shot Down Ukrainian Warplane

    FILE - A Sukhoi SU-25 fighter plane is seen in a July 1, 2014, photo.
    FILE - A Sukhoi SU-25 fighter plane is seen in a July 1, 2014, photo.
    VOA News

    Russia's Defense Ministry denied on Thursday it had shot down a Ukrainian military jet and called the accusation by Kyiv “absurd,” Russian state news agency RIA reported.

    “It is absurd, just like all the previous accusations from Kyiv's leadership against Russia's Defense Ministry,” a ministry spokesman was quoted as saying.

    In the latest escalation of tensions on the Ukrainian-Russian border, Kyiv said a Russian jet shot down one of its warplanes, one of its strongest accusation yet of direct Russian military involvement in the conflict between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian forces in Ukraine's east.

    A Ukrainian military spokesman said the pilot of the SU-25 fighter ejected safely.

    NATO said, if confimed, the incident would represent a serious escalation.

    "We have no confirmation of this. If confirmed. it would represent a grave further escalation and another direct violation by Russia of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty," a NATO military officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, told VOA.

    Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) on Thursday said a Russian air force plane downed the Ukrainian jet late Wednesday over Ukrainian territory with an air-to-air missile strike.

    Intense fighting

    On the ground in eastern Ukraine, fierce fighting between government forces and pro-Moscow rebels has intensified in recent days with some 55 civilians killed since the weekend alone.

    In what would represent an addititional escalation, NSDC spokesman Andriy Lysenko said Ukrainian troops had been fired upon by missiles from a village just inside Russia.

    Ukrainian media have been circulating videos purportedly shot by residents of the Russia village of Gukovo showing rockets being launched from there allegedly toward Ukrainian territory.

    The authenticity of the videos cannot be independently confirmed but one of them was tweeted by NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe Gen. Philip Breedlove, who expressed deep concern.


    Accusations

    Officials in Kyiv have recently accused Russia's armed forces of being directly implicated in attacks on Ukrainian troops battling an insurgency near the border.

    NATO has said it has evidence that Russia has moved over 12,000 troops back to its border region with Ukraine in recent weeks and that it continues to allow mercenaries and heavy weapons to flow across its borders into Ukraine.

    Moscow denies Western charges that is sending fighters, supporting the separatists in Ukraine or fomenting the unrest there by any other means.
     
    On Monday, Ukraine said one of its military transport planes carrying eight people was shot down by a missile fired from Russian territory.

    Ukraine's Security Service chief Valentyn Nalyvaichenko said he had “unconditional evidence” that Russia was involved in downing the craft.

    Rebels claimed to have shot that plane down.

    VOA's Jeff Seldin contributed to this report. Some information provided by Reuters, AP and AFP.

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    Comments
         
    by: mills
    July 17, 2014 1:54 PM
    Those politicians who started all these dine everday in Government houses and pass orders with glasses of wine while civilians pay the prices with blood and irreversible injuries. instead of calling for cease fires they call for more blood to be spilled. when will the soldiers or these militare men learn that these guys don't care much about them if it doesn't concern their selfish interest and safety they get richer u get more fatalities.

    by: Plain Mirror Intl from: Plain Planet - Africa
    July 17, 2014 11:52 AM
    It is very sad that Ukraine could be so stuppid not to have learnt a lesson from Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Syria.

    John Kerry would soon order the US citizens to leave Ukraine as has always been the case in all the above named nations who have fallen victims of the most recent US deceipts. Wait also to see John Kerry propose and solicit for fund to solve Ukraine militia problems just as was the case few days ago over Libya.

    by: meanbill from: USA
    July 17, 2014 11:08 AM
    Both sides use Russian weapons, some newer and some older, and only God knows, which side shot down the plane..... The Ukrainians may have been shooting at what they thought was a Russian piloted Russian plane, and the pro-Russian separatists shot at a Ukrainian piloted Russian plane, (and the only sure thing is), it was a Russian bullet, canon, missile, or arrow, that brought down that Russian plane....
    In Response

    by: Richard Speer from: DC
    July 18, 2014 7:19 AM
    You mean a Russian plane coming from the direction of Kyiv instead of Russia. Very astute observation Einstein.

    by: junker from: USA
    July 17, 2014 10:13 AM
    We must do everything to cut EU from Russia 's gas! That is the most peaceful way to knee Russia and stop it!

    by: william li from: canada
    July 17, 2014 9:13 AM
    you should be expecting this when you rioted to oust your former President.
    this is what you got from the violence in Kyve.
    In Response

    by: Sammy Bonchits from: Brooklyn
    July 17, 2014 11:11 AM
    You do realize that the president that was ousted was the same president running for election a couple of years ago and they found thousands of fake ballots including this election that put him into office. Plus he was the one that wanted Ukraine's first language to change to Russian. Putin pretty much put him into office to put closer ties between Russia and Ukraine. Now look in Crimea Ukraine stopped supplying them and Russia can't supply them and all the protesters there are begging to go back to Ukraine so they could get their pensions back.

    All the people in Crimea were forced to get Russian passports and all they get in return is some Russian troops stationed around the area. But Russia is keeping this quiet so they don't lose the land. Another interesting detail is the eastern part of Ukraine has all the factories where all of Russia's tanks and planes were made during the U.S.S.R. and won't that be a coincidence that they are trying to take that part of the land back? At the end Putin is trying to grab land from Ukraine like it did from Georgia. The rest of the world might not recognize it as part of Russia but Russia effectively took it.

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