49 people reportedly killed as Lugansk self-defense forces down Ukrainian military plane
The press service for the Ukrainian Defense Ministry earlier reported that a Ukrainian military-transport plane IL-76 had been shot down while landing on the Luhansk aerodrome. The plane was carrying troops, equipment, weapons, and food.
The report did not state any information on casualties.
At the same time, the administration of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, the General Staff, and the Air Force Command have extended their condolences to the troops' parents, relatives and loved ones.
Ukraine's Defence Ministry claims that the self-defence forces in Lugansk have shot down Ukraine's Il-76 army aircraft. There were at least 49 people on board the military transport plane Il-76 shot down by militiamen in Lugansk, CNN reports citing a source in the army of Ukraine.
According to TSN also citing a source in the Ukrainian army, about 30 people were on board the plane.
Earlier, the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine stated that on the night of June 14 the militia shot down a plane with Ukrainian paratroopers coming in for landing at the Lugansk airport. The plane "was carrying out transportation of personnel with the purpose of rotation".
Air-raid alert has been declared in Lugansk, reports correspondent of RIA Novosti. The city sirens are warning about the air threat. The spokesman Vladimir Inogorodsky said to RIA Novosti that aircrafts of the Ukrainian army are flying over the city. "Ukrainian warplanes are circling over the city. An air alert has been declared. Since the planes are not delivering any strikes at the moment, people are not being evacuated from the city as of yet," the press service said.
On Friday evening, Ukrainian military helicopters fired town Schastye. It was also reported that the Ukrainian army is firing near Lugansk. Kiev carries out special military operation to suppress pro-independence supporters in eastern Ukraine since mid-April, as they did not recognize the legitimacy of the new Ukrainian authorities who came to power in a coup in February.
Most major confrontations are taking place in Slavyansk of Donetsk region in the north, as well as in neighboring Kramatorsk and in Mariupol in the south region. In Moscow, this special operation, which has already resulted in numerous casualties on both sides, including among the civilian population, called punitive and urged Kiev to stop immediately.