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LUGANSK, July 01. /ITAR-TASS/. Militiamen of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) have shot down a Sukhoi Su-27 (NATO reporting name: Flanker) air superiority fighter, militiamen said Tuesday.
Two pilots of the plane ejected, militia representatives said. LPR soldiers are currently combing the terrain in search of the pilots near the Luganskaya village, where the aircraft earlier fired a shot.
Hundreds of people have been killed, buildings destroyed and tens of thousands forced to flee Ukraine to Russia as a result of Kiev’s military operation against federalization supporters in Ukraine’s embattled Southeast involving armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation, which has been conducted since mid-April.
Fierce military attacks of the pro-Kiev forces on the country’s southeastern regions resumed after Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko decided to end the 10-day ceasefire in the Southeast on Monday. There were numerous reports that the truce had been repeatedly violated by Kiev.
The Donetsk and Lugansk regions, which border on Russia, held referendums on May 11, in which most voters supported independence from Ukraine. South Ossetia has recognized the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) and the Lugansk People's Republic (LPR). No other countries have followed suit so far.