Ukraine crisis: Military plane shot down in Luhansk

Pro-Russian rebels have shot down a military transport plane in eastern Ukraine, killing all 49 Ukrainian service personnel on board.

Ukraine’s defence ministry said the Il-76 transport plane crashed after coming under anti-aircraft fire over Luhansk.

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.

It is thought to be 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, BBC reports.