DONETSK/LUHANSK, July 07. /ITAR-TASS/. The self-defense forces of south-east Ukraine will now have its own assault aviation and anti-aircraft guns seized from the Ukrainian army.
Igor Plotnitsky, the defense minister of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic, said on Monday that the self-defense forces now had a Su-25 assault plane at their disposal.
“We seized a Su-25 plane from the Ukrainian army when it was making an emergency landing. It will be ready to go into battle again after minor repairs. The army of the Luhansk People’s Republic has got its own aviation,” Plotnitsky noted. He did not clarify where exactly the aircraft had been seized or from where it was going to take off after the repairs.
The Su-25 Frogfoot is an armored all-weather subsonic assault aircraft meant for supporting land troops day and night. The Su-25s have been operated since 1981.
In the meantime, anti-aircraft artillery guns have come into service with the army of the Donetsk People’s Republic. The residents of Donetsk said on Monday that they saw two trucks with fighters armed with anti-aircraft guns leaving in the direction of Karlivka village, the Petrovsky district, 20km away from Donetsk, a line of resistance with the Ukrainian army is running. People’s militias have set up checkpoints at all exits and entrances to Donetsk.
“It is possible to go in and out of the city. Checkpoints have been set up at all transportation arteries. However, they are not hindering the movement by civilians, including cars,” the press service of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic told ITAR-TASS on Monday.
“Shops, banks, enterprises and social service institutions are working in the routine mode. The situation in the city is calm. There is no panic in Donetsk. Many people who wanted to leave the city for fear of military hostilities in its territory have decided to stay,” the press service went on to say.
Earlier on Monday, the militia fighters were forced to retreat from Sloviansk, surrendering the town to the Ukrainian army.
According to the press service of the Donetsk People’s Republic, all men under 35 have been arrested in Sloviansk.