Pro-Russia Rebels Shoot Down Ukraine Military Plane, Killing All 49 Aboard
NOVOHANNIVKA, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine’s president has declared tomorrow a day of national mourning after pro-Russia separatists shot down a military transport plane in the country’s east, killing all 49 crew and troops aboard.
The incident is the deadliest for the Ukrainian military in the four-month-old conflict. It comes just a week after President Petro Poroshenko spoke about a peace plan in his inaugural address. Poroshenko has called an emergency meeting of Ukraine’s national security council.
Ukraine’s prosecutor general says the plane went down this morning as it approached the airport in Luhansk, near the border with Russia. Separatists there have seized government buildings and declared independence. However, Ukrainian forces still control the Luhansk airport.
The U.S. government is reiterating its support for Ukraine’s government and rejecting Russia’s statements that it’s not arming the rebels. The U.S. says Russia clearly has sent tanks and rocket launchers to the rebels, making sure the unmarked tanks were of a type not currently being used by Russian forces.