Planes Are Still Being Shot Down in Ukraine

Two Ukrainian military fighter jets were struck down Wednesday, according to the nation’s defense ministry.

Russian-made fighter jets in flight.
National Journal
Marina Koren
July 23, 2014, 4:43 a.m.

Nearly a week after a ci­vil­ian jet­liner went down over east­ern Ukraine, the re­gion’s air­space re­mains deadly.

The As­so­ci­ated Press re­ports that two Ukrain­i­an mil­it­ary fight­er jets were shot down at 1:30 p.m. loc­al time on Wed­nes­day in the east, ac­cord­ing to Ukraine’s De­fense Min­istry. The air­craft were Suk­hoi-25 fight­ers, which were de­signed by the So­viet Uni­on in the 1970s.

Ukrain­i­an De­fense Min­istry spokes­man Oleksiy Dmitrashkovsky told the AP that up to two crew mem­bers may have been aboard each jet.

A spokes­man for Ukraine’s mil­it­ary op­er­a­tions told Re­u­ters that the jets were shot down by pro-Rus­sia sep­ar­at­ists. Ukrain­i­an de­fense of­fi­cials say the mis­siles that took them down were launched from Rus­sia, just across the bor­der, ABC re­ports.

The re­por­ted down­ings come barely a week after Malay­sia Air­lines Flight 17 was blown out of the sky by a sur­face-to-air mis­sile that U.S. in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cials be­lieve was launched by pro-Rus­sia rebels who mis­took the com­mer­cial plane for Ukrain­i­an mil­it­ary air­craft. All 298 people on board were killed in the crash.

In June, sep­ar­at­ists shot down a Ukrain­i­an mil­it­ary trans­port plane, killing 49 people on board.

The cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the down­ing of the two jet­fight­ers re­main un­clear. In­tel­li­gence of­fi­cials from the U.S. and oth­er coun­tries will likely turn their at­ten­tion to so­cial me­dia, where rebels have pre­vi­ously com­men­ted or bragged about armed at­tacks against Ukrain­i­an au­thor­it­ies, for im­me­di­ate clues about what happened. This story has been up­dated with more in­form­a­tion.
What We're Following See More »
UTAH REPUBLICAN
Former Sen. Bob Bennett Dies at 82
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Former Utah Republican Sen. Bob Bennett died of pancreatic cancer on Wednesday after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Bennett was defeated in a primary in 2010 by Tea Party–backed Mike Lee.

Source:
GOOGLE SEARCHES SPIKE
Libertarians Getting a Second Look?
10 hours ago
WHY WE CARE
VEEPSTAKES
Trump Floats Gingrich, Kasich as Running Mates
11 hours ago
THE LATEST

Newt Gringrich is actively positioning himself as a possible VP nominee for Donald Trump, according to National Review. After a New York Times piece mentioned him as a possible running mate, he said, "It is an honor to be mentioned. We need a new Contract with America to outline a 100-day plan to take back Washington from the lobbyists, bureaucrats, unions, and leftists. After helping in 1980 with Reagan and 1995 as speaker I know we have to move boldly and decisively before the election results wear off and the establishment starts fighting us. That is my focus." Meanwhile, Trump told CNN he'd be "interested in vetting" John Kasich as well.

NO MORE CUTS
House Dems Push on Puerto Rico, Citing Zika
12 hours ago
THE LATEST

"House Democrats are stepping up pressure on Republicans to advance legislation addressing Puerto Rico’s worsening debt crisis by issuing a report arguing that austerity cuts can’t be sustained and have made the island more vulnerable to the mosquito-borne Zika virus." Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee released a report yesterday that argued "further sharp reductions in government spending can’t be a part of a legislative solution"—especially with a rainy season boosting the mosquito population and stressing an island health system already struggling to deal with the Zika virus.

Source:
WILL ANNOUNCE PICK BEFORE CONVENTION
Trump to Name VP Search Committee
13 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Donald J. Trump said on Wednesday that he expected to reveal his vice presidential pick sometime in July—before the Republican National Convention in Cleveland—but added that he would soon announce a committee to handle the selection process, which would include Dr. Ben Carson." He said he's inclined to name a traditional political figure, unlike himself.

Source:
×