Russia denies being behind downed Ukrainian aircraft

Newscast Media MOSCOW—Russia’s Defense Ministry denied on Thursday it had shot
down a Ukrainian airplane and called the accusation by Kiev “absurd”, Russian state
news agency RIA reported.

“It is absurd, just like all the previous accusations from Kiev’s leadership against
Russia’s Defense Ministry,” a ministry spokesman was quoted as saying.

A Ukrainian SU-25 fighter plane was shot down. It was on military operations over the
east of Ukraine, where government forces are fighting to quell a pro-Russian
separatist rebellion.

The Ukrainian military accused Russia of shutting down the jet. It was the first time
Ukraine had directly accused Russia of using air power in the war. In a previous
attack on a military transporter, which it said was launched from Russia, Kiev was
unable to specify whether it came from land-based missiles or airborne.

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said the plane was brought down on Wednesday night
near Amvrosiyivka, about 15 km (about 9 miles) from the border with Russia, by
rockets which hit it in the tail as it wheeled away from the border.

The pilot safely ejected, Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for the National Defense and
Security Council, told journalists.

The downing of the SU-25 came against a background of increasingly strident
charges of direct Russian involvement in the three and a half month conflict in which
the pro-Western government in Kiev is fighting to put down a rebellion by separatists
who want a future in Russia.

Source: Al Manar TV News