The Ukrainian Air Force IL-76MD tasked with Operation Northern Falcon 2014 on 13 March 2014 (Image © Ukraine Ministry of Defence)

Ukrainian ‘Candid’ shot down

The Ukrainian Air Force IL-76MD tasked with Operation Northern Falcon 2014 on 13 March 2014 (Image © Ukraine Ministry of Defence)
A Ukrainian Air Force IL-76MD, seen here on 13 March 2014 (Image © Ukraine Ministry of Defence)

The downing of a Ukrainian Ilyushin IL-76 cargo aircraft by pro-Russian separatists has cost the lives of all 49 army personnel on board, authorities in Kiev reported on Saturday 14 June. The IL-76 was hit by anti-aircraft fire while approaching Luhansk airport.

The incident happened on Friday 13 June and is the single bloodiest episode in the Ukrainian – Russian conflict so far. The Ukraine’s defense ministry said the plane carried military machinery and supplies. According to the most recent figures, the Ukrainian Air Force had seven Ilyushin IL-76MDs at its disposal, plus another 13 in reserve.

The shooting down of the IL-76 came a week after the downing of an Antonov AN-26 transporter aircraft in the skies over Slovyansk, with the loss of three out of an eight men crew.

The YouTube clip below apparently captures the IL-76 coming down near Luhansk. The first few seconds seem to show the anti-aircraft fire.

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