Army troops have penetrated deep inside the rebel-controlled city of Luhansk in eastern Ukraine in what could prove a breakthrough development in the four-month-long conflict, the Ukrainian government said Sunday. The rebels are fighting a desperate rearguard action to hold on to the city, which acts as a supply corridor for Russian arms according to Ukrainian officials. Pro-Russian separatists shot down a Ukrainian fighter jet near the city earlier in the day. The pilot parachuted out and was rescued by Ukrainian forces.
In the course of an assignment to eliminate a large group of terrorists, a MiG-29 was shot down this morning in Luhansk region.
Leonid Matyukhin, Ukraine military spokesman
The city of Luhansk is reportedly suffering from severe electrical outages and shortages of food and medicine. Donetsk, the largest rebel-held city, is also suffering through fighting including frequent shelling. A convoy of trucks carrying Russian aid for those cut off by the fighting is waiting on the Ukrainian border for clearance. The Ukraine has agreed to allow the International Committee of the Red Cross to distribute the aid but are waiting for security guarantees from all sides in the conflict before they cross the border.