In a testament to Soviet engineering, a Ukrainian SU-24 flying over the Donetsk oblast was hit by a surface-to-air missile but managed to keep flying, accomplish its mission and return to base safely.
The Kyiv Post reports that the “plane was flying over Donetsk region when it came under attack from rebel forces using MANPADS, shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles. The plane managed to reach its destination with all on board unscathed and was successful in destroying the rebel forces’ equipment in the process.”
The near shoot-down comes just two days after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko ended a 10-day ceasefire with pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine. “We will attack and we will liberate our land,” Poroshenko said in a statement. In the days since the ceasefire ended, heavy fighting has swept the region resulting in a number of deaths on both sides.
The Sukhoi SU-24 first flew in 1967 and is an all-weather attack aircraft. It was heavily used by Russia during its brief conflict with Georgia in 2008.