A Ukrainian military transport plane An-26, that participated in the operation against the separatists in the east of the country, was shot down Monday in the Lugansk region, in the border with Russia, as confirmed by the rival parties, which differ on details, number of crew and apparatus circumstances of the incident. Another Ukrainian military aircraft, a fighter His 25, also have been shot near Lisichansk, also in the Lugansk region, according to information from the separatists. Kiev spokesmen expressed suspicions that insurgents teams go beyond the simple portable launchers.
A spokesman for the Popular Republic of Lugansk (RPL) reported that the An-26 had fallen in the district Bolzhano – Nikolski and four crew members were being questioned in the town of Krasnodon. Communication with the An-26 was stopped about 12:30 pm Monday when the plane was at 6,500 meters, according to Minister of Defence of Ukraine, Valeri Geletéi, at that point it is impossible to have been hit by a shot of a portable launchers, so “surely was reached” with another “more powerful” missile weapon, “possibly was fired” from the territory of the Russian Federation. On board were eight people (seven military and civilian), as reported spokesman Information Center National Security and Defence Council, Andrei Lysenko, who initially denied that the crew had been taken hostage. The official ventured the hypothesis that the plane had been shot down by a shot from the Russian airfield Millerovo in the Rostov region.
NATO spokesmen reported a further increase in Russian troops stationed in the territory of the country near the border with Ukraine. Russian military personnel deployed in the area would be between 10,000 and 12,000 people. Before the Russian contingent in border area became 40,000 and was later reduced to 1,000.
The environment between Russia and Ukraine continues to deteriorate as a result of border incidents after the weekend a projectile from the Ukrainian side of it reached a house in the Russian city of Donetsk and caused the first fatalities on Russian territory.
About Kiev and rebels European pressures increase for both parties to sit down to negotiate. However, the trend seems to reverse, as even the existing forums are closing dialogue. Donetsk Mayor Alexander Lukiánchenko, which held regular talks with the separatist since the beginning of conflict, has come to leave the city and took refuge in Kiev, where he said he feared for his life and that the insurgents sought to assume military tasks to the detriment of the needs of the civilian population.
The violence has claimed more than a thousand killed since the fighting began. After taking Slaviansk on the weekend of 7 and 8 July, the insurgents have retreated and concentrated its strength especially in the two main cities of the region, Donetsk and Lugansk. Between the loyalists and Kiev’s independence struggles for control of the border with Russia, which is vital for supplying the insurgents. At the border, the separatists still retain access to some points because forces loyal to Kiev fail to fully control a territory poorly marked and poorly guarded. Only the Russian region of Rostov has 660 km border with Ukraine and, as recognized by local officials, such length is difficult to control because of the lack of signage, equipment and deterrent controls on the ground.