Posted by News Express | 14 June 2014 | 3,152 times
All 49 people aboard a Ukrainian military plane shot down in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, by pro-Russian rebels have died, military spokesperson Vladislav Seleznov has said.
Ukraine’s defence ministry said the Il-76 transport plane crashed after coming under anti-aircraft fire over.
In a statement it said “terrorists” had “cynically and treacherously” fired on the aircraft.
The plane was carrying troops and military equipment and was about to land at the city’s airport.
This is the biggest loss of life suffered by government forces in a single incident since Kiev began an operation to try to defeat the insurgency in east Ukraine.
The incident came less than a week after pro-Russia rebels launched a series of attacks on Ukrainian forces at Luhansk International Airport.
The airport has been under the control of government forces but the rebels hold most of the rest of the city.
Luhansk is the main city of one of two eastern regions where pro-Russia separatists have declared independence from Kiev.
The “anti-terrorist operation” by Ukraine government forces has left at least 270 people dead over the past two months.
Ukraine’s new President Petro Poroshenko had said during his inauguration in Kiev last Sunday that fighting must end “this week.”
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