This post provides an overview of the Ukraine Air Force flying activities in the period July 14 – July 17.
At July 12 the Ukrainian Air Force has been put on full combat alert because of numerous terrorist attacks in the east of the country, anti-terrorist operation (ATO) spokesman Vladyslav Selezniov has reported on Facebook. (source)
At July 14 the Ukraine Air Force made 5 airstrikes near Luhansk. (source BBC)
At July 14 an Antonov 26 of the Ukraine Air Force was shot down while flying at 6500. Ukraine stated they stopped flying after that incident because it was not safe. Civil aircraft however continued to overfly East Ukraine at 32.000 feet or higher.
Spokesman of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Andrey Lysenko said at July 15 at 12:00 (English text here) that since the shotdown of the Antonov the Ukraine Air Force did not operate any flight.
The city of Snizhne was bombed by aircraft around 07:00 at July 15. As Ukraine Air Force did not fly, according Ukraine the Russian Air Force is responsible for this bombing.
The pauze in flying did not last long.
At Wednesday July 16 the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) has said that a Russian military aircraft launched a missile strike against a Su-25 aircraft of the Ukrainian Armed Forces over Ukrainian territory on Wednesday, July 16 aroud 19:00. The aircraft was destroyed(source)
This is an interesting thread on vKontakte. Someone describes he saw an aircraft shot down.
Saw how the plane was shot down live on 2nd Mine.
Jul 16, 2014 at 8:39 am
Yes 20 minutes ago they fired in the direction of Marynivka and then I saw the explosion and the terrible whistling of the wrecked engines
Another aircraft was according to the Ukraine Ministry of Defence, a Sukhoi fighter which was hit with MANPADS and the pilot was forced to land. Sources:
Ukraine Ministry of Defense confirms the shot down on its official website here.
This is a Tweet indicating MANPADS were fired near Snizhne to Ukraine SU-25
— Julian Röpcke (@JulianRoepcke) July 16, 2014
This video made in Torez shows a hole in the ground made my a bomb of the Ukriane Air Force. The video is supposed to have been made at July 16
There is no data on the flying activities of Ukraine Air Force at July 17. At 14:16 Sputnik released an article stating that after the shot down of 2 SU-25 on Wednesday there were no flying activities of Ukraine air force over the region.
However many eyewitnesses tell on video that saw one or more SU-25 operating in the area where MH17 crashed. An overview here. I do not think there is a reason to believe the Ukraine Air Force did not operate on July 17.
This is a video showing a SU-25 flying low over ATO area. The video title states it was filmed at July 17 2014.
Rebel commander Alexander Khodakovsky of the so-called Vostok battalion sain in a interview with Reuters:
“And that day, they were intensively flying, and exactly at the moment of the shooting, at the moment the civilian plane flew overhead, they launched air strikes. Even if there was a BUK, and even if the BUK was used, Ukraine did everything to ensure that a civilian aircraft was shot down.”
credits: Arnold Greidanus and Max van der Werff for providing sources.by