MOSCOW, February 24. /TASS/. Foreign media reports about a downed Russian plane over Ukraine contradict reality, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Thursday.
"The information by foreign media about a Russian plane allegedly shot down over Ukraine does not correspond to reality," the ministry said.
Earlier, Reuters citing the Ukrainian military, reported that Ukrainian air defenses might have downed a Russian plane in eastern Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address on Thursday morning that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in order to protect people "who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years." The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories.
Russia’s Defense Ministry reported later on Thursday that Russian troops were not delivering strikes against Ukrainian cities. It emphasized that Ukrainian military infrastructure was being destroyed by precision weapons.