2 Ukraine fighter jets downed by rebels near MH17 site


Pro-Russian separatists shot down two Ukrainian fighter jets today in the same eastern region where Malaysian Air Flight MH17 was destroyed, the government said, reports bloomberg.com.

Rebels downed two Su-25 fighters over the village of Dmytrivka in the Donetsk region, a Defense Ministry spokesman, Oleksiy Dmytrashkovsky, said by phone. Another ministry spokesman, Andriy Lysenko, later told reporters in Kiev the planes were flying at an altitude of 5,200 meters (17,000 feet) when they were brought down by a “powerful” anti-aircraft missile. The pilots ejected and their whereabouts are unknown, the ministry said on Facebook.

The incident comes nearly a week after MH17 was hit by a missile that the U.S. says was probably fired from a Russian-supplied launcher. If verified, it raises the question of whether PresidentVladimir Putin’s military is still allowing the rebels access to weaponry capable of downing fighters. Lysenko said that the fighters may have been brought down from Russian territory, an allegation Ukraine’s government has made before when a plane was targeted.