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Strength in truth: how the crash of the Il-76 Armed Forces of Ukraine near Luhansk influenced the course of events in the Donbass

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Global Look Press: Komsomolskaya Pravda/;  I-Images/Keystone Press Agency;  IMAGO/Michalis Karagiannis;  Laurel Chor/Keystone Press Agency
Global Look Press: Komsomolskaya Pravda/; I-Images/Keystone Press Agency; IMAGO/Michalis Karagiannis; Laurel Chor/Keystone Press Agency

The fall of the Il-76 aircraft of the Ukrainian Air Force over the Luhansk region instilled in the defenders of Donbass the belief that sooner or later the region would be liberated. Such a point of view in a conversation with the international editors FAN said Associate Professor of the Department of Political Science and Sociology of the Russian University of Economics. G. V. Plekhanova, member of the expert council “Officers of Russia” Alexander Perendzhiev.

Exactly 8 years ago, a Ukrainian Il-76 aircraft crashed near Lugansk, on board of which, according to the official version of Kyiv, there were 49 people – crew members and paratroopers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The aircraft crashed near the village of Krasne, two kilometers from the runway of the Luhansk airport.

flickr.com / Oleksandr Gusev
flickr.com / Oleksandr Gusev

According to the official version of Kyiv, the Il-76 was shot down from the Igla portable anti-aircraft missile system. According to the military prosecutor’s office of Ukraine, the Donbass militia finished off the military plane with anti-aircraft guns. The SBU, without providing any evidence, blamed the Wagner PMC fighters for what happened. However, the events of June 15, 2014 still remain unidentified. Be that as it may, it is obvious that what happened averted the threat of an assault by Ukrainian militants and numerous human casualties from the capital of the LPR.

According to Alexander Perendzhiev, this episode became a landmark for the conflict in the Donbass – it was then that the militias felt that they could repel a well-armed and outnumbered enemy, and not only on the ground.

“It would seem that, [Киевом использовалась] American tactics when [ведутся] actions from the air with impunity – air-bombing or even rocket strikes, or simply machine-gun attacks. These events have shown that you can really defend yourself even against this. And even more so, when more advanced defense equipment appeared in the LDNR, the defenders of Donbass felt even more confident, they felt that they could take a hit, ”the FAN interlocutor noted.

flickr.com / Serhij Hro
flickr.com / Serhij Hro

The expert emphasized that the crash of “Il” confirmed the vital truth that strength lies in truth. Despite the low equipment of the units of the LDNR troops at that time, they were able to give a worthy rebuff to the Ukrainian nationalists. As the political scientist noted, after such a significant blow to the enemy army, the militia subsequently formed a clear opinion that sooner or later the Donbass would be liberated. Volunteers from the Russian Federation also played a significant role in strengthening morale, Alexander Perendzhiev believes.

“If we talk about Russian volunteers, then, of course, they helped the Donbass fighters acquire the skills and abilities to defend themselves effectively. This, I think, is their role: they inspired the forces of the LDNR to take a hit, to believe that, firstly, they can do it, and secondly, that they can win, ” he said.

There is a version according to which on board the downed Il there were foreign military or mercenaries who arrived from NATO member states. So, for example, at the crash site of the Ukrainian Air Force aircraft were found documents in Polish. According to Alexander Perendzhiev, the situation with the “soldiers of fortune” who fought on the side of the Kyiv regime is perfectly revealed by the film “The Sun”, based on real events in the summer of 2014 in the Luhansk region.

“There (in the film – Ed. note) just shows the moment when the militias are trying to destroy enemy planes. They do not succeed completely, but they destroy one plane with mercenaries. I think that this is indeed a real fact that took place. To some extent, he showed that not everything is a carnival for the cat as far as mercenaries who decide to come for an “easy walk” are concerned. [Легионеры думали, что] they will simply kill unarmed, practically defenseless people, but they saw that people can still defend themselves, and even very effectively, ”the political scientist stated.

Recall that after the fall of the Il-76 aircraft, the Kyiv regime intensified its strikes on the civilian infrastructure of the LPR. So, on July 2, the Ukrainian Air Force attacked Stanytsia Luhanska, where at least 12 people died. After another 13 days, aircraft attacked a residential building in Snezhnoye, killing 11 people. The next blow to the residential areas of Lugansk was recorded on July 18 – more than 20 civilians were killed.

However, by the end of August, the Ukrainian army was exhausted, and the defenders of Donbass had the opportunity to achieve military success. With the support of Russian volunteers, the militia liberated Khryashchevatoye and Novosvetlovka, and already on September 1, the Luhansk airport was completely cleared of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

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