Ukraine: Russia (Probably) Shot Down Our Plane

Government also alleges that Russian army officers are fighting with rebels

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 14, 2014 11:13 AM CDT

(Newser) – Someone shot down a Ukrainian military transport plane near the Russian border today—and the Ukrainian government says that someone was probably in Russia. Separatists in Eastern Ukraine immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but the plane was flying at 21,300 feet, Ukraine's defense minister tells the AP, which should have been too high for separatists' weapons. So far it's unclear how many casualties there were; the plane was thought to be carrying about 20 people.

Meanwhile, President Petro Poroshenko today accused Russian army officers of teaming up with rebels to fight against Ukrainian forces, Reuters reports. Poroshenko held an emergency meeting with his security chiefs today, telling them that they are now facing a new Russian missile system and would need to change their tactics. Ukraine's campaign against the rebels has been going well lately; last night it managed to clear the rebel-held path to Luhansk airport.

Pro-Russian fighters stand guard in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine Saturday, June 21, 2014, with a statue of Soviet Union founder Vladimir Lenin in the background.
Pro-Russian fighters stand guard in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine Saturday, June 21, 2014, with a statue of Soviet Union founder Vladimir Lenin in the background.   (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
Igor Strelkov, a pro-Russian separatist commander, left, arrives for the wedding of platoon commander Arsen Pavlov and Elena Kolenkina in the city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, July 11, 2014.
Igor Strelkov, a pro-Russian separatist commander, left, arrives for the wedding of platoon commander Arsen Pavlov and Elena Kolenkina in the city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, July 11, 2014.   (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
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