Ukraine says forces shot down second Russian Il-76 cargo plane amid heavy fighting
The Ukrainian government says its forces shot down two IL-76 “Candid” fixed-wing strategic airlifters outside Kiev, capable of carrying more than 100 paratroopers each. Coffee or Die Magazine cannot verify the claims, and no corroborating photographs or video evidence have surfaced.
Ukrainian officials say the two jets – comparable in size and capacity to US C-17s – were carrying loads of combat paratroopers. If both planes were full, the shootings could easily mean the death of more than 300 Russian soldiers.
— Генеральний штаб ЗСУ (@GeneralStaffUA) February 25, 2022
Russian military forces are currently engaged with Ukrainian military and territorial defense forces in heavy fighting on the outskirts of Kyiv. Russian forces struggled to hold airports needed for supplies and troop reinforcements. Citizens were given guns and asked to prepare Molotov cocktails.
“Tonight they will launch an assault. We all need to understand what lies ahead. We must resist this night,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a video address posted on social media. “The fate of Ukraine is being decided right now.”
New @AP report tonight: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was asked to evacuate Kyiv at the request of the US government, but refused the offer. A US official tells me that Zelenskyy said, “The fight is here; I need ammo, not a round. pic.twitter.com/oSpa1vdX29
—James LaPorta (@JimLaPorta) February 26, 2022
In one Facebook post, the Commander of the Ukrainian Air Force, Lieutenant General Zaluzhny Valery Fedorovich, said: “Our PPO forces knocked down the IL-76 with enemy paratroopers in the Vasilkova area. This is revenge for Lugansk 2014.”
The Kyiv Independent reports that a second IL-76 plane was shot down south of Kyiv, near Bila Tserkva, citing Ukraine’s State Agency for Special Communications as the source.
The IL-76 aircraft is capable of carrying more than 100 paratroopers. The Soviet Air Force began using the first variant of the aircraft in 1974, and it saw widespread use during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
Read more : Helicopters shot down as Russian troops seize Kiev airport