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By Chris Covert

Pro Russian militia near Lugansk in southeastern Ukraina have shot down a Ukrainian Air Force SU-25, according to Russian English language reports.

The fate of the pilot is unknown, except that it is known he did eject. The shoot down is the third downed Ukrainian combat aircraft in a week. Earlier two MiG-29 ground interdiction aircraft were shot down, also near Lugansk. One pilot escaped while the other was captured.

The SU-25 is a dedicated ground interdiction aircraft which is said to be very difficult to bring down. Pro Russian nationalists fighting the Ukrainian government have no antiaircraft means except for manpacked missiles and some antiaircraft guns.

In and around Ilovaisk, about 17 kilometers due east of Donetsk, heavy fighting continues, as pro Russian militia continue to claim that several Ukrainian military units are pinned down and unable to break out in "fire sacks".

According to pro Russian militias, Ukrainian forces delivered a counterattack using elements of the "Avov", "Dniepr", "Donbass" and "Right Sector" police units. A northern sector of Ilovaisk has been taken by a unit of the "Donbass" battalion, but since the fighting is so heavy, the situation as of the end of the day is unclear.

Ukrainian military forces were prevented by militia from taking the city center, but remain in the suburbs.

The day before Ukrainian forces claimed to have several militia units surrounded, but today Ukrainian press is silent on the issue.

Shelling continues, especially against Donetsk, which is the chief prize in the war.

According to information presented in the pro Russian Voice of Sevastopol, Ukrainian artillery units are firing white phosphorus rounds into Dontetsk. Gunfire was reported in the Kievsky district, and rocket artillery strikes were reported overnight in Shirokoye and on Pinter street (in district Tekstilshchik).

Chris Covert writes news for Rantburg.com

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