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Luhansk self-defense fighters claim downing Ukrainian attack aircraft

July 21, 2014, 16:18 UTC+3 LUGANSK
Pro-Kiev troops and local militias in the southeastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Luhansk regions are involved in fierce clashes
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Ukrainian attack plane (archive)

Ukrainian attack plane (archive)

© EPA/SERGEY POPSUEVICH

LUHANSK, July 21 /ITAR-TASS/. Self-defense fighters of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) have shot down a Ukrainian attack aircraft and three tanks, the militia said on Monday.

“The enemy summoned aviation to provide air support to its ground grouping. An attack aircraft came to deliver air strikes on the positions of the LPR’s army but was shot down and flew away leaving a smoke trail behind it,” the militia said.

“The LPR’s regrouped forces also managed to destroy three enemy tanks,” the defenders said.

The LPR press office reported on Monday that the Ukrainian military had advanced on self-defense forces near Luhansk. The Ukrainian military tightened its offensive on three key areas near the settlements of Severodonetsk, Lisichansk and Rubezhnoye, the LPR office said.

Pro-Kiev troops and local militias in the southeastern Ukrainian 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 the military operation, Kiev has used armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation. Many buildings have been destroyed and tens of thousands of people have had to flee Ukraine’s embattled south-east.

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