49 Die as Ukrainian Separatists Shoot Down Transport Plane

Rebels’ missiles have claimed 10 aircraft

Pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine have shot down a Ukrainian air force Il-76 transport plane using a shoulder-fired missile apparently supplied by Russia.

All 49 people on board died—the nine crew and a platoon of paratroopers.

The following video reportedly shows the shoot-down near Luhansk airport on June 13. The aircraft was landing at the airport when it was hit by a missile reportedly fired by pro-Russia separatists on the eastern side of the airport.

You can see the missile launch around 00:05—and the explosion caused by the crash of the Il-76 around 00:50.

Since the beginning of the fighting in eastern Ukraine in March, separatists have shot down no fewer than 10 Ukrainian aircraft—five Mi-24 Hind and two Mi-8 Hip helicopters, an An-2, an An-30 and the Il-76 at Luhansk.

A recent video depicted an Il-76 releasing flares shortly after take-off from Donetsk, a sign that Ukrainian planes can, in theory, defend themselves against heat-seeking missiles. But low- and slow-flying airlifters and helicopters are particularly vulnerable to missiles.

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