Ukrainian Il-76 military transport plane flies through MANPADS-infested zone: separatists shoot it down

Jun 14 2014 - 25 Comments

Pro-Russia separatists have shot down another aircraft using MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defense Systems). An Il-76 carrying 49 soldiers. All dead.

The following video reportedly shows the downing of a Ukrainian Air Force Il-76 military transport plane, carrying 40 paratroopers and 9 crew members, near Luhansk airport, on Jun. 13.

The aircraft was landing at the airport, when it was hit by MANPADS fired by pro-Russia separatists from the eastern side of the airport.

You can see the missile launch around 00:05 and the explosion caused by the crash of the Il-76 around 00:50.

Since the beginning of the fightings, 10 aircraft (5x Mi-24 Hind and 2x Mi-8 Hip helicopters, 1x An-2, 1x An-30 and the Il-76 at Luhansk) were shot down by the local militia using portable surface-to-air missile systems.

A recent video showed an Il-76 releasing flares shortly after take off from Donetsk, a sign that Ukrainian cargo planes are equipped with self-defenses against heat seeking air-to-air or surface-to-air missiles. However, considered the low speed and poor maneuverability, airlifters as well as helicopters (the latter even more exposed to the risk because they normally operate at lower altitudes) are particularly vulnerable to MANPADS.

Still, in spite of the amount of aircraft already shot down, Ukrainian cargo aircraft and surveillance planes are tasked to operate in MANPADS-infested areas. Better equip them with more effective counter measures or use them elsewhere.

Top image: Wiki


  • Marco

    There is a report about an Su-24 or Su-25 being downed few hours after the Il-76. Any INDEPENDENT or Ukrainian confirmation or video/picture evidence?

    • Дима Карпович

      Still no. But this time rebels claim that they captured pilot(So its Su-25). So confirmation tomorow are possible.

    • Дима Карпович

      Here is video of Su-25 over Horlovka. Some say that you can see that he was hit, but such low quality cannot see anything. This is all what i have unfortunately.

      With tanks its easier. Here is disabled Ukrainian tanks in Lugansk with almost full ammo.(Crew has retreated to nearby building, but was cornered by rebels,tank commander shooted his crew member(his crew members were from Poltava and were ok with surrendering to rebels) and blow himself with grenade, sick guy, gunner was captured and would be handled to relatives(there is another video with him captured)).
      Rebels already managed to repair tank(he had damaged transmision, there is photo of him later moved to rebel position).

    • Дима Карпович

      There is first confirmed SU-25 shoot down.
      Tried to return to base. Did not managed to land. Pilot ejected.
      Ukrainian sources:

  • Mike

    It won’t make a difference in time unless we give them pilots as well. You volunteering?

  • Mike

    All reports I’ve seen indicate that the IL-76 was brought down by machine gun fire, not MANPAD: . Not sure about the other plane, there is precious little information about that incident.

    • Pheran

      There is very clearly a missile launch at the beginning of the video.

  • Jim Beam

    AC-130’s are useless when the enemy has MANPADS…The U.S Air Force learned that the hard when during the 1991 Gulf War, and will not operate them when there is even the slightest chance of real AA to be encountered.

    • euler was right

      Not true, Spectre flew quite a few missions over Sarajevo in late 95 early 96. As someone on the ground I can tell you they were very useful. I’m sure there are other examples.

    • CheetahFang258

      Useless huh? No it flew many missions over MANPADs infested areas. Yes it will be operated and is very many times especially for SOCOM operations.

  • Jim Beam

    The Ukrainians appear to be making a lot of the mistakes the Russians made in Chechnya and the Soviets in Afghanistan…Surprise, surprise…

  • Case79

    There are reports that the Ukrainian military is shelling civilian areas (sometimes with Grad launchers). I don’t know if that’s true but there are definitely instances of civilian areas being attacked by Su-25’s resulting in civilian deaths. If so it’s no surprise that Russia will provide AA systems and also no surprise that there are many people willing to use them.

    • Dishonesty

      But this takes the cake
      Ukrainian military is shelling civilian areas (sometimes with Grad launchers)

      • Case79

        so the Russians are covertly deploying artillery units to shell Russian speaking civilians? nice conspiracy theory

    • Roland Lawrence

      I think people should also note that just because weapons were made in Russia, they could have come from a number of sources. Syria and Libya being 2 places were weapons proliferation is an epidemic. But yes im sure too that Russia has a hand in there also – its on their doorstep after all.

    • OG_Locc

      If you watch the video of the Su-25 strike, clearly they were targeting a “rebel” position – and hit it. There are hundreds and hundreds of tires strewn about from the direct hit on the fortification. Unfortunately, “rebels” set up their position right in a civilian area, and civilian deaths came hand in hand.

      • Case79

        And what did it achieve? The rebels still control the building, and the killing of civilians will only increase the resolve of the separatists. If ‘neo-Confederate’ separatists seized an administrative building in Richmond, would the USAF bombard it with unguided rockets and JDAMS? I doubt it. These authoritarian leaning governments have 0 regard for collateral damage or their own civilian casualties.

        • Dihonesty

          USAF not but M1 Abrams yes.
          Waco,Davidians &David Koresh.

  • Ron Fox


    • Greg

      The Kiev regime using aircraft to attack its own people, is also a crime.

    • Greg

      It is also a crime for the Kiev regime to use aircraft to attack its own people.

    • El_KaBong

      You should be charged for improper use of the ‘caps lock’ button.

  • Дима Карпович

    Considering that rebels have taken 12 military bases. And whole SBU arsenals in regions. Its no surprise that they got manpads.
    And do not forget that after Crimea takeother black market is flooded with arms(and sellers(exUkra military that switched sides) most probably support rebels), cause its easy to cover miss of part of arsenal due to situation.
    Ukrainians still have no proofs of Russian origin of any manpads. All captured by Ukrainian army rebels manpads, were either Ukrainian itself, or Polish(they need serious slap for lack control of manpads).

    But i anticipate more direct Russian involvement in near future, cause shelling of Russian speaking population would not be tolerated.

  • Roland Lawrence

    I think you will find the old “plausible deniability” option taken by the west. Oh for sure “we the west” are there, just might not have a union jack / stars and stripes on the soldiers uniform. Additional weapons can also be easily had from Syria, Libya and such. As for Obama not having a idea whats going on? You will find that his VP Joe Biden has a son whos just joined a Ukraine gas company. Multi billion $$$$ imminent. As for “grand strategy”, Russia has now cut the gas on the Ukraine pipeline! Northern Italy, Switzerland and Germany rely on the pipeline. Someone could make a $$$$ ransom if they got into the right energy company!!

  • Ryan Law

    they had captured 12 basses by that time, and on june 29th they captured a air defece base and got there hands on a pile of buk systems