OSCE Confirms: Luhansk Deaths Caused by Airstrikes

Ukraine Blamed Explosions on Rebel Anti-Aircraft Fire

Yesterday’s explosion at the regional administration building in eastern Ukraine’s Luhansk was a matter of considerable dispute, with the central government denying it was an air strike, and insisting the rebels did it themselves.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has confirmed the rebels’ reports, saying “these strikes were the result of non-guided rockets shot from an aircraft.” Locals reported seven killed in the attack.

The building is currently serving as the headquarters for the People’s Republic of Luhansk, a separatist movement. The official government story was that a heat-seeking SAM fired by the rebels “locked on to an air-conditioning unit” in the building, which turns out not to have been the case.

Since the OSCE’s report, Ukraine has issued a follow-up statement confirming that the Air Force “fired more than 150 missiles” over Luhansk on Monday. The missiles apparently were used during a gunbattle in southern Luhansk, as well as to destroy rebel checkpoints, but Kiev continued to deny any missile strikes hit the administration building, saying they would never fire into civilian areas.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.