Ukraine has accused Russia of shooting down an aeroplane over Ukrainian territory in the east of the country on Wednesday, as the conflict between the Ukrainian military and pro-Russian separatist rebels continues.
Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council said:
“A military plane from the air force of the Russian Federation carried out a rocket strike on a Ukrainian airforce SU-25 as it fulfilled its task over the territory of Ukraine.”
The jet, believed to be a Russian Su-27, shot down the Ukrainian plane at around 19:00 (16:00 GMT) over Luhansk in the east of the country, during clashes at the Marinvka border crossing.
Russia’s defence ministry declined to comment on the claim, and the rebels claim to have shot down two Su-25 jets on Wednesday.
The incident follows accusation from Kiev that Russian forces shot down an An-26 transport plane on Monday, and videos emerging online of “Grad” rockets being fired at Ukrainian forces from over the border in hills surrounding the Russian town of Gukovo on Wednesday.
The accusations of direct Russian involvement in the clashes have further increased tensions between Kiev and Moscow.
The EU and US have responded to the continued hostilities by imposing a further round of sanctions on Russian officials and businessmen.