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Multiple Russian military aircraft were allegedly shot down on Friday night as Russia closed in on Ukraine’s capital city of Kyiv, according to claims from Ukraine’s government.
“According to a statement from the military’s General Staff, the Il-76 heavy transport plane was shot down near Vasylkiv, a city 40 kilometers south of Kyiv,” The Times of Israel reported. “The Russian military has not commented on the incident so far, and the report could not be immediately verified.”
Illia Ponomarenko, a reporter with The Kyiv Independent, claimed that a second Ilyushin Il-76 heavy transport plane was shot down in the area.
“Yet another Russian Ilyushin Il-76 has been downed near Bila Tserkva, Ukraine’s State Agency for Special Communications says,” he wrote on Twitter. “The Battle of Vasylkiv Airfield rages high.”
The Associated Press later confirmed the reports that the two heavy transport planes had been shot down:
A second Russian Ilyushin Il-76 military transport plane was shot down near Bila Tserkva, 50 miles (85 kilometers) south of Kyiv, according to two American officials with direct knowledge of conditions on the ground in Ukraine.
Ponomarenko claimed earlier in the evening that Ukrainian forces had shot down a Russian fighter jet and helicopter.
“In Donbas, a Ukrainian S-300 system downs a Russian Sukhoi Su-25 and a helicopter at midnight, Ukraine’s government says,” he wrote.
JUST IN: In Donbas, a Ukrainian S-300 system downs a Russian Sukhoi Su-25 and a helicopter at midnight, Ukraine’s government says
— Illia Ponomarenko (@IAPonomarenko) February 25, 2022