Rebels Shoot Down Ukraine MiG Fighter Jet Near Luhansk

Pilot Ejected to Safety, But Plane Destroyed

Ukrainian military forces are pounding the eastern city of Luhansk today, and the rebels in control of the city have struck back, shooting down a MiG-29 fighter jet that was involved in the attacks.

It was the second MiG-29 Ukraine has lost in the current war on the east, and while there was no confirmation, it seems likely the shootdown was with a shoulder-fired missile, as is usually the case with planes flying low for attack runs.

Luhansk is the easternmost provincial capital in Ukraine, and one of two, along with Donetsk, that has been held by the rebels for months. The military is pushing into those two cities, fueling a humanitarian crisis.

Over one million civilians have been displaced in the war, mostly fleeing into neighboring Russia, and those who remain have been struggling to find food and water as the shelling grows more intense against populated areas.

The rebels, mostly ethnic Russians, seek increased autonomy, or outright secession, for the eastern portion of the nation, while the Ukrainian military has dubbed them terrorists and vowed to crush the revolt.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of