While the world's short attention span may have been diverted to Iraq where the ISIS insurgents are now knocking on Baghdad's door, and with it - Iraq's vast southern oil fields and infrastructure (which if taken offline would send oil up to $200 according to T. Boone Pickens). the "out of sight, out of mind" conflict in Ukraine, which the western media dropped covering like a hot potato some time in early May for reasons not entirely known, continues to escalate and where the latest outbreak of violence took place overnight when a Ukraine military transport Il-76 was allegedly shot down by separatists in the city of Lugansk as it was about to land.
As a result of the crash all 49 Ukrainian service personnel on board were killed. The death toll would be the biggest suffered by government forces in a single incident since Ukraine’s government launched a military operation against pro-Russian separatists in the east.
We remind readers that Lugansk is the same city where in the beginning of June a Ukraine fighter jet was caught on tape wantonly bombing civilians in broad daylight resulting in numerous civilians.
As AFP reports, Pro-Russian separatists shot down a Ukrainian military transport plane overnight carrying troops and supplies in the eastern city of Luhansk, the defense ministry said on Saturday. This is the second major reported Ukraine airborne casualty following the downing of a military transport helicopter which took place at the end of May and killed a Ukraine army general.
“On the night of June 13-14, the terrorists...fired from an anti-aircraft weapon and a large calibre machine gun, shooting down military transport aircraft...IL-76 as it was about to land,” the ministry said in a statement, offering its condolences to the victims’ families.
Forty-nine military personnel were killed in the incident, according to military spokesman Vladislav Seleznov.
Luhansk lies near Ukraine’s border with Russia, an area where separatists have seized government buildings and declared independence after holding disputed referendums.
An estimated 270 people have been killed in the violence over the past two months.
In other news, Bloomberg reports that a guard found an explosive device near one of the main entrances of the president's office overnight, Unian news service reports citing an unidentified official from State Guard Department. The device was made of several grenades and mobile phone. Conveniently the man who planted the device escaped, Unian says, so it is unclear if he was a Russian "separatist" or merely hired by the CIA.
That said, we expect the latest tragic development in the Ukraine civil war to get far more western media coverage than the wanton bombing of civilians in the same town by Ukraine forces two weeks ago.
Footage of the incident can be seen below.