Earlier today, we read reports out of Russian Itar-Tass stating that east Ukraine militia had shot down a Ukraine gunship and a Su-25 fighter jet, as well as four APC. We were waiting for an official confirmation from Ukraine as the level of propaganda on both sides is somewhat tricky to filter. We got at least partial proof moments ago from Ukraine's military spokesman Seleznyov, who said via Bloomberg:
- UKRAINE SAYS 2 SOLDIERS DEAD, 42 WOUNDED TODAY IN EASTERN OP
- UKRAINIAN SEPARATISTS SHOOT DOWN 2 HELICOPTERS: SELEZNYOV
Here is what else Itar-Tass reported from a conflict which suddenly all Western media has forgotten:
People’s militia in the city of Sloviansk, east Ukraine’s Donetsk Region, have downed a fighter plane Su-25 and a Ukrainian helicopter gunship as well as four armored personnel carriers (APC), Sloviansk People’s Mayor Vyacheslav Ponomarev told ITAR-TASS on Tuesday.
Ukraine's military has amassed armored vehicles and self-propelled mortars and howitzers near the town of Sloviansk, Stella Khorosheva, spokeswoman for the Sloviansk people's mayor, told ITAR-TASS on Tuesday.
The military equipment numbering 100 units includes Grad salvo systems, Khorosheva said.
An An-30 plane has been sighted over Sloviansk, making periodic flyovers. According to Khorosheva, clashes began at around 6.00 am local time on Tuesday.
"A report said that Ukrainian troops had broken through in the area of the village of Semyonovka," she said, adding that Ukraine's National Guard was using tanks.
"It looks like they've brought here all their army and (military) equipment," she said.
Earlier, a people's militia representative told ITAR-TASS that Ukrainian military aircraft had delivered several missile strikes at Semyonovka and that the village of Cherevkovka had come under missile and machine-gun fire as well.
"There have been no casualty reports yet, because everybody is holding the line or is in shelter," the militia representative said.
It is unclear if the downed Ukrainian Su-25 is the same one as the one caught on tape launching bombs at Ukraine civilians in the town of Lugansk.
And while we don't have a clip which captures the latest downing of the two Ukraine helicopters (or the fighter jet) here is a YouTube video from earlier today showing two Ukraine helicopters engaged in heavy fighting with forces on the ground near the city of Slavyansk. 1:58 into the clip it becomes visible when the helicopter pilot engages his gun at ground targets.