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Luhansk fighters claim downing two Ukrainian attack aircraft

July 14, 2014, 15:25 UTC+3 LUHANSK

The press office of the Luhansk People's Republic said one plane was downed in the area of Lisichansk ,and the other near the Izvarino border checkpoint

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A militia fighter in Ukraine's Luhansk Region

A militia fighter in Ukraine's Luhansk Region

© ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnkikov

LUHANSK, July 14. /ITAR-TASS/. Self-defense fighters of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine have shot down two Ukrainian combat planes, the republic’s press office reported on Monday.

“One plane was downed in the area of Lisichansk and the other near Izvarino (border checkpoint),” the press office said.

On July 11, the Luhansk self-defense militia shot down a Ukrainian plane, presumably an attack aircraft, near the town of Perevalsk in the Luhansk region. On July 1, they shot down a Su-25 attack aircraft. The plane’s two pilots were able to eject. On the night of July 13-14, the fighters downed an Il-76 transport plane during its landing. The plane was carrying combat hardware, ammunition and troop reinforcements. The Ukrainian military confirmed the death of 49 servicemen.

Troops loyal to Kiev and local militias in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions are involved in fierce clashes as the Ukrainian armed forces are conducting a military operation to regain control over the breakaway regions, which on May 11 proclaimed their independence at local referendums.

During its military operation conducted since mid-April, Kiev has used armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation. According to Ukraine’s Health Ministry, 478 civilians have been killed and 1,392 wounded in the armed stand-off. Many buildings have been destroyed, and tens of thousands of people have had to flee Ukraine’s embattled south-east.

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