Hours after Russia invaded Ukraine, its six warplanes, including a helicopter, were allegedly shot down over the eastern Luhansk region on Thursday. The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces made the claim, even as the Russian authorities denied it.
After days of ongoing war crisis, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared war on Ukraine in a televised address on Thursday morning insisting that he seeks to "demilitarize" the country.
Videos Surface on Social Media
One of the separatist regions in Ukraine, Luhansk was recognized as independent by Russia earlier this week. Following the Presidential orders, Russian military launched an artillery attack on the Ukraine's northern border shared with Russia and Belarus.
The Independent reported that while Kiev said that the Russian aircraft were brought down over the eastern Luhansk region, the Russian defence ministry has denied the claim. Rebutting the claim being made by the rival the Russians aid that they have taken Ukrainian bases "out of action" and incapacitated the country's air defence within hours of the military action.
The first explosions were heard in multiple Ukrainian cities including Kiev, Kharkiv and Odesa.
Videos Surface on Social-Media
In a televised address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had appealed for peace. "You are being told that Ukraine can pose a threat to Russia. It was not like this in the past, it is not like this now and it will not be so in the future. You demand security guarantees from NATO. We also demand guarantees of our security - from you, from Russia, and other guarantors of the Budapest memorandum," Zelenskyy said.
Despite its claim shooting down four Russian aircraft and one helicopter, the Ukrainian authorities failed to provide any official video of the same. However, the social media was soon flooded with images and videos of warplanes being taken down mid-air. However, the authenticity of these videos cannot be proved.
Sharing a video a crashed chopper, journalist John Sweeney tweeted, "Russian chopper stung by a Stinger. The war, so far, is not going as well as perhaps the Kremlin had hoped. The Ukrainian army are not Syrian farmers. They have good western kit. And lo: war is never easy. #Putin pleas note."
Another user described it as Russian Ka-52 helicopter downed by the Ukrainian arm in Hostomel.
A few other videos show Russian war planes flying in the skies over Ukraine.