ATO spokesman Vladislav Seleznev informed Ukrainska Pravda that four crew members from the Ukrainian An-26 military transport plane shot down on Monday, July 14, have been rescued, two are in captivity, and the fate of two more is unknown, the publication reports, July 15.
Seleznev stressed that the rescue operation was complicated by the location of the crash — an area where the militants are active.
Earlier, Radio Svoboda reported that Svoboda party deputy Yurii Syrotiuk claimed that five crew members had been rescued.
Syrotiuk said he had received the information from Artem Zaik, the head of the Svoboda party organization in Luhansk, who maintains contact with Svoboda members involved in ATO (antiterrorist operation).
“We succeeded in carrying out an operation at the front to bring the aviators to our side. They are safe now, apparently in a secure area. Several need medical assistance, hospitalization. According to our data, one crew member was killed in the plane, two others — pilot and paratrooper — are in captivity,” Syrotiuk said.
Svoboda party head Oleh Tiahnybok also published this information in his twitter account.
“With the active participation and support of special groups, which include Svoboda members from Luhansk and Kharkiv, it was possible to save five aviators of the downed An-26 plane, Tiahnybok wrote.
As previously reported, on July 14, militants shot down a Ukrainian military transport plane An-26 in the Luhansk Oblast. There were 7 crew members and one person who accompanied the shipment.
The head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, said that SBU has irrefutable evidence that the An-26 was struck by Russian military forces.
Translation: Anna Mostovych