News / Europe

Kyiv Vows Response to Downed Military Plane

Pro-Russian fighters collect ammunition from the site of remnants of a downed Ukrainian army aircraft Il-76 at the airport near Luhansk, Ukraine, Saturday, June 14, 2014.
Pro-Russian fighters collect ammunition from the site of remnants of a downed Ukrainian army aircraft Il-76 at the airport near Luhansk, Ukraine, Saturday, June 14, 2014.
VOA News
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko summoned his defense and security chiefs for consultations Saturday after pro-Russian separatists shot down a military transport plane, killing all 49 people on board.

In a statement released by his office, Poroshenko said all those involved in "cynical acts of terrorism" must be punished.

"Ukraine needs peace. However, the terrorists will receive an adequate response," he said.

The prosecutor general's office said 40 service members and nine crew were killed early Saturday when the rebels shot down the Ukrainian Air Force Ilyushin-76 in eastern Ukraine.

The aircraft filled with troops and supplies was about to land at the Lugansk airport when it was fired on with anti-aircraft and heavy-caliber gunfire, the Defense Ministry said.

Other sources, including the widely-followed Ukrainian defense analyst Dmitry Tymchuk, said Russian-designed anti-aircraft missiles known as "Iglas" had been found in the area, and were likely used against the plane.

NATO on Saturday released photos that it said showed recent Russian tank movements near the Ukrainian border, a day after the U.S. State Department asserted that Russian tanks and other heavy weapons had crossed the border with Ukraine.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters Friday that a convoy of three T-64 tanks, several rocket launchers, and other military vehicles crossed the border near the Ukrainian town of Snizhne in the last three days. 

She called the move "unacceptable."

Earlier Friday, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that if reports of "pro-Russian armed gangs" acquiring heavy weapons from Russia were confirmed, it would mark "a serious escalation" of the crisis in eastern Ukraine.

Russia, which annexed Ukraine's Crimea peninsula in March, has repeatedly said it would not make further intrusions into Ukrainian territory.

Meanwhile, Ukraine's government said that its security forces regained control of Mariupol, a port city in the Donetsk region that has changed hands several times.

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said Ukrainian forces raised the country's flag over city hall.

Earlier, Ukrainian presidential bodyguards reportedly disposed of a powerful explosive device found near Poroshenko's headquarters, but the presidential administration did not immediately issue any statement.

A security source said on Saturday the device was found during the night near the gate where presidential cars go in.

"It was a container with five grenades and a kilogram of metal nuts," the unnamed official was quoted as telling Reuters. "It was a really powerful device."

Also Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pressed Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to make clear Moscow's commitment to ending the flow of Russian weapons and tanks across the border into Ukraine.
Kerry also spoke by phone Saturday with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk about an attack by protesters on the Russian Embassy in Kyiv. Footage of the incident shows people throwing eggs and paint at the embassy building and damaging and overturning cars while chanting anti-Russia slogans.

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Comment Sorting
by: akin from: Nigeria
June 16, 2014 4:16 AM
Cuba crisis, suez canal, Syria etc Russia has helped. Hail

by: Not Again from: Canada
June 15, 2014 12:45 AM
Another, and as usual, sad loss of Ukrainian soldiers. Poroshenko needs to stop eating his chocolates, too much sugar is bad for the brain, and investigate this enourmous tactical failure; determine who were the people responsible for this ill conceived, ill executed operation, court martial.... get them out of business/retire them.
It never ceases to amaze the great level of incompetence of his tactical planners. Sending an aircraft, full of courageous soldiers, to be seating ducks, into an ongoing war zone's airport, in which his forces have very little control on the ground is total stupidity. It is sad to see such wastage of human life and such disregard for the soldiers and their families.
Failure to hold poor performers responsible and accountable, will just continue to give negative results, and waste lives in incredibly stupid operations. This must be the fifth aircraft, containing soldiers, to be shot down with total loss of personnel.
At what point will the Ukr high command learn from their gross mistakes? another 60 aircraft, or they will just run out of aircraft, or just run out of soldiers, and never learn from their mistakes? Such bad tactics, will just embolden the opposition, and demostrate to the people, that they have bad leaders.
Poroshenko needs to get some competent people running and planning Ukr defensive operations, and seek a political solution.

by: Samaila faruk from: Nigeria
June 14, 2014 5:20 PM
Russia are d cause of the problem

by: TheSaucyMugwump from:
June 14, 2014 4:06 PM
Boot Russia out of the WTO.

All countries must forbid Putin and his toadies from flying over and/or landing on their territory. It was counterproductive to allow Putin to attend D-day activities because he was able to strut like the rooster he is.

The U.S. must leave Afghanistan quickly because military forces have very limited overflight options with the most common being Russia.

The U.S. must stop using Russian rockets.

by: Sunny Enwerem from: Abeokuta Nigeria
June 14, 2014 12:38 PM
This is were President Obama and EU is getting things very wrong by the limited sanction which is doing noting than fueling the crisis in Eastern Ukraine, the west should SLAM Putin's Russia with maximum sanctions to send a clear message or else we should brace for what is yet to come,an Assassination attempt on an elected president should be investigated by the UN, only if we truly have a UN!

by: Anonymous
June 14, 2014 11:29 AM
Good for the anti-fascists!

by: brett stokes from: canada
June 14, 2014 11:26 AM
One of the biggest problem is believing any of this US propaganda called 'news'. It is especially difficult when it differs so vastly with other global news sources. Never believe anything the US govt says, they are all liars.

by: P.K.Chaudhuri from: Noida. India.
June 14, 2014 11:09 AM
I appeal to people of Ukraine to review the political situation in their country carefully. Ukraine should not become an sacrificial instrument of America and Western European countries for harassing Russia. Sit across the table and discuss all issues. There is no issue in this world which cannot be solved.
My request to the political leadership of Ukraine to resist forces that want to make Ukraine another country like Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. War in other countries promotes the economy of NATO countries.

by: meanbill from: USA
June 14, 2014 11:02 AM
THE WISE MAN said it; -- Ho Chi Minh told America, "If you want to fight a war for (40) years or more, then we'll fight a war for (40) years or more, but if you want to sit down and drink tea together, we'll sit down and drink tea together, and talk" -- (AND?) -- after (9) long years of the Vietnam war, the US finally decided to drink tea? -- (NOW?) -- how long will it take the Right Sector led Ukraine government, to sit down and drink tea together, with the pro-separatists?

CRAZY isn't it? -- Trying to use an airport surrounded by the enemy? -- (The pro-Russian separatists didn't down this plane, no, stupidity downed this plane?) --- A Ukrainian joke?

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