Ukraine Claims Russia Shot Down Military Transport Plane

A military transport plane was shot down in Luhansk and Kiev claims the rocket probably came from Russia. This comes a day after Russia said a shell from Ukraine territory hit Russian territory and killed one person.

The Donetsk People's Republic's Twitter account said the Luhansk People's Republic shot down the AN-26 with four crewmembers and took one man hostage. 

Defense Minister Colonel Valery Heletey said “the plane was flying at a height of 6,500 metres” and the height would make it impossible for regular weapons to shoot it down.

"So the plane was brought down by another more powerful rocket weapon which was fired, probably, from the territory of the Russian Federation," he said.

But editor Charles Heyman said it did not make sense the plane was at 6,500 meters.

"I doubt the transport plane was flying at 6,500 meters. That doesn't make sense. The higher you fly, the more it costs, and the plane would have had to be pressurized," he said. "It was probably shot down using SAM-6 missiles owned by the rebels, which they have quite a few of."

There were no causalities and Heletey said there were two men on board. A ministry spokesman told Reuters he could not confirm all people on board were alive.

Over 30 people died between Friday and Sunday in east Ukraine and Kiev forces raided rebel-held Luhansk and Sabivka on Sunday. 19 soldiers were killed, including four when their vehicle drove over the landmine. Pro-Russian forces opened fire on a bus carrying miners to work and killed five men.

"All those who used the Grad against the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be found and destroyed," he said in a statement on his website. "For every soldier's life, the militants will pay with scores and hundreds of their own. Not a single terrorist will avoid responsibility; each will get what they deserve.”


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