Skip to main content

Pro-Russian separatists shoot down Ukranian jet, hit two copters

By Lindsay Isaac, CNN
updated 6:02 PM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Pro-Russian separatists hit two helicopters, Ukranian military confirms
  • NEW: A Ukranian military jet also was struck on Wednesday
  • Another Ukrainian fighter jet was shot down on Sunday
  • Ukraine continues a battle with pro-Russian rebels in the country's east

Kiev, Ukraine (CNN) -- Pro-Russian separatists struck two helicopters as well as a jet with portable air defense systems Wednesday in the Luhansk region of Ukraine.

A source within the Ukrainian military confirmed the statement by the "South-East Army," which claims the group downed an Ukrainian Su-25 military jet and a Mi-24 helicopter.

Another Ukrainian Mi-24 helicopter was struck, also in the Luhansk region, but it is unclear as to whether that aircraft crashed.

On Sunday, a Ukrainian fighter jet was shot down in the Luhansk region, Leonid Matyuhin, the spokesman for Ukraine's counterterrorist operation, told CNN.

Smoke rises around the Donetsk International Airport on Saturday, September 13, as shelling continues between pro-Russian forces and the Ukrainian army. The fighting in the country has left more than 2,500 people dead since mid-April, according to the United Nations. Smoke rises around the Donetsk International Airport on Saturday, September 13, as shelling continues between pro-Russian forces and the Ukrainian army. The fighting in the country has left more than 2,500 people dead since mid-April, according to the United Nations.
Crisis in Ukraine
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
>
>>
Photos: Crisis in Ukraine Photos: Crisis in Ukraine

The pilot managed to eject and is safe, Ukrainian state media reported.

The ongoing fighting -- sparked last year with by political crisis over whether Ukraine would seek closer ties with Europe or Russia -- has left more than 2,000 people dead and just under 5,000 wounded in eastern Ukraine since mid-April, according to estimates from U.N. officials.

The United States and the European Union have applied steadily increasing sanctions against Russian officials, banks and other interests since March, when Russia annexed the Black Sea Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea.

Who are Ukraine's pro-Russia rebels?

Russia's move came a month after Ukraine's parliament ousted pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovych.

Yanukovych left office after violent protests against his government in the capital, Kiev.

Those protests were motivated in part by his decision to back out of a trade deal with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia.

Global Public Square: Make Russia an offer it can't refuse

Ukraine's secret weapon: Funding from the country's millionaires

CNN's Lindsay Isaac reported from Kiev. CNN's Jason Hanna wrote from Atlanta. CNN's Victoria Butenko and Joshua Berlinger contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:58 AM EDT, Tue September 9, 2014
Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 broke apart in the air after it was hit by a burst of "high-energy objects" from outside, a preliminary report by Dutch aviation investigators said Tuesday.
updated 7:34 AM EDT, Tue September 9, 2014
"There were many scenes that defied logic," writes OSCE spokesman Michael Bociurkiw, who was one of the first international observers to arrive at the site.
updated 12:11 PM EDT, Wed September 3, 2014
On a country road in eastern Ukraine, a scene of bucolic tranquility was suddenly interrupted by the aftermath of carnage.
updated 4:19 PM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
In the city of Donetsk, the devastation wrought by weeks of fighting between pro-Russia rebels and Ukrainian forces is all too apparent.
updated 8:00 PM EDT, Sun August 31, 2014
CNN's Diana Magnay reports from the front lines in the Ukrainian conflict.
updated 7:26 AM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
A few miles south of the town of Starobeshevo in eastern Ukraine, a group of men in uniform is slumped under a tree.
updated 9:27 AM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
It's been building for months. And now, according to some, Russia has launched a "full-scale invasion" of Ukraine.
updated 9:43 AM EDT, Sat August 23, 2014
A shopkeeper's mutilated body, relatives' anguish, homes destroyed ... this is Donetsk.
updated 7:12 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
A 20-minute drive from Kiev takes you to a neighborhood that feels more like Beverly Hills than central Ukraine.
updated 2:35 PM EDT, Sat September 13, 2014
Photos illustrate the ongoing crisis in Ukraine as fighting continues to flare in the region.
updated 8:34 AM EDT, Thu August 7, 2014
Western leaders stepped up sanctions, but the Russian President shows no sign of backing down.
updated 12:31 PM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
Future imports, exports between the EU and Russia are now banned -- but existing contracts continue.
updated 11:40 AM EDT, Sun July 20, 2014
Some contend that larger weapons have come into Ukraine from Russia.
updated 4:37 PM EDT, Fri August 1, 2014
Information about Ukraine, the second-largest European country in area after Russia.
Learn more about the victims, ongoing investigation and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
updated 5:25 AM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
The downing Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 put the pro-Russia rebels operating in Ukraine's eastern region center stage.
ADVERTISEMENT