Russia says ready for talks if Ukraine 'lays down arms'

Ukraine claims downed five Russian planes, helicopter


KIEV: The Ukrainian military claimed on Thursday that it had shot down five Russian planes and a helicopter near a rebel-held enclave in the eastern part of the country.

“According to the Joint Forces Command, today, February 24, in the area of the Joint Forces operation, five planes and a helicopter of the aggressors were shot down,” the army general staff said.

On the other hand, hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a military offensive against its neighbors, Russia’s Defense Ministry said it had disabled Ukraine’s military air bases and their air defenses.

“Military infrastructure at Ukrainian army air bases has been rendered out of action,” the defence ministry said in a statement carried by news agencies, which added that Kyiv’s air defence systems were “eliminated”.

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