KIEV/MOSCOW: Russia's Defense Ministry denied Thursday it had shot down a Ukrainian warplane and called the accusation by Kiev "absurd," Russian state news agency RIA reported.
"It is absurd, just like all the previous accusations from Kiev's leadership against Russia's Defense Ministry," a ministry spokesman was quoted as saying.
Earlier Thursday, the Ukrainian military had said a Russian jets shot down a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter plane that was on military operations over the east of Ukraine, about 15 km from the border with Russia, where government forces are fighting to quell a pro-Russian separatist rebellion.
It was the first time Ukraine had directly accused Russia of using air power in the war. In a previous attack on a military transporter, which it said was launched from Russia, Kiev was unable to specify whether it came from land-based missiles or airborne.