TWO UKRAINIAN JETS DOWNED
Days after pro-Russian separatists downed a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777, killing 298 people, two Ukrainian Su-25s went down in the same area. Both pilots reportedly ejected, but their status is unknown.
According to media reports, the Ukrainian government said that the Su-25s, known by the NATO code name Frogfoot, were shot down by the separatists, using man-portable surface-to-air missiles, also known as MANPADs. This comes as bodies of those on Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 are being flown to the Netherlands.
Russia has reportedly been providing weapons to the separatists. Among the MANPADs in the Russian or former Soviet arsenals are the SA-7 Grail, the SA-14 Gremlin, the SA-16 Gimlet, the SA-18 Grouse, and the SA-24 Grinch. The SA-7 and SA-14 are known in Russia as the Strela family of weapons, while the SA-16, SA-18, and SA-24 are the 9K38 Igla family of weapons.
The conflict in the Ukraine started when protests forced the resignation of Viktor Yanukovych, who was an ally of Russia. Soon after that, separatists took control of the Crimean peninsula, and engineered that territory’s takeover by Russia. They then began trying to carve out portions of eastern Ukraine.