One of the Ukrainian fighter jets has been shot down by a Russian missile in combat against Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.
The so-called operation against separatists said the Su-25 was hit on Friday, and that the pilot ejected and was uninjured. The statement said the plane was hit by a missile from a Russian launcher.
NATO estimates that at least 1,000 Russian soldiers are in Ukraine and Kiev claimed this week that Russian tanks and armored vehicles entered the country as rebels open a new front along the Azov Sea coast. Russia consistently denies both that its forces are in Ukraine and allegations that it is supplying the rebels.
Until this week, the fighting had been concentrated well inland. But rebels this week took control of the town of Novoazovsk with the apparent aim of pushing further west along the coast which connects Russia to the Russia-annexed Crimean Peninsula.
All options except military action will be considered to punish Russia for pursuing “the wrong path,” Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said.
Fighting between Ukrainian military forces and Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine has already claimed at least 2,200 lives.