Pro-Russian Rebels Shoot Down Ukrainian Plane, Attack Border Guards

Pro-Russian Rebels Shoot Down Ukrainian Plane, Attack Border Guards Mashable We're using cookies to improve your experience. Click Here to find out more. Mashable Mashable Mashable Australia Mashable France Mashable India Mashable UK Sign in Like Follow Follow Mashable see more  > Search Videos Social Media Tech Business Entertainment World Lifestyle Watercooler Shop More Channels Videos Social Media Tech Business Entertainment World Lifestyle Watercooler Shop Company About Us Licensing & Reprints Archive Mashable Careers Contact Contact Us Submit News Advertise Advertise Legal Privacy Policy Terms of Use Cookie Policy Apps iPhone / iPad Android Resources Subscriptions Sites Mashable Shop Job Board Social Good Summit World Like Follow Follow Pro-Russian Rebels Shoot Down Ukrainian Plane, Attack Border Guards 1.2k Shares Share Tweet Share What's This? A pro-Russian fighter carries parts of weapons from the site of remnants of a downed Ukrainian army aircraft Il-76 at the airport near Luhansk, Ukraine, Saturday, June 14, 2014. Image: Evgeniy Maloletka/Associated Press By Christopher Miller 2014-06-14 13:44:26 UTC KIEV — Using highly sophisticated surface-to-air missiles, Kremlin-backed rebels shot down a Ukrainian Ilyushin-76 military-transport aircraft, as it prepared to land at an airport in the eastern city of Luhansk early Saturday, killing all 49 servicemen on board. The setback marks the largest loss of Ukrainian troops in a single incident since the government began its “anti-terrorist operation†in April to purge pro-Russian insurgents from its eastern Luhansk and Donetsk regions. In all, since the start of the operation, at least 115 servicemen have been killed. See also: Ukrainian Forces Seize Crucial Port City From Pro-Russia Separatists Meanwhile, gunmen ambushed a convoy of Ukrainian border guards on the outskirts of the southeastern port city of Mariupol, which military forces reclaimed from separatists on Friday. In addition, security services in Kiev foiled an attempt to assassinate the newly elected Ukrainian president. “On approach to the Luhansk airport, a Ukrainian armed forces military transport Il-76 airplane was shot down with an anti-aircraft rocket system,†the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office said in a statement. “In addition to the nine crew members, 40 military personnel were on board. All of them died.†Anatoliy Hrytsenko, a former defense minister, told Mashable by phone that the nine crew members killed aboard the four-engine transport plane were part of the Melitopol transport brigade. The prosecutor general’s office said it had opened an investigation into the “terrorist act†carried out in Luhansk, a regional capital with some 450,000 residents, which has been controlled by separatists who have occupied key buildings and erected checkpoints around the city. Wreckage of a downed Ukrainian military aircraft on the ground at the airport near Luhansk, Ukraine, on Saturday. On May 11, separatists in Luhansk held a slapdash and illegal vote on secession from Ukraine, proclaiming it to be a new independent republic. In the weeks following the vote, separatist gunmen have seized strategic military bases from Ukrainian troops, and taken control of several border crossings used to transport fighters and weapons from Russia into Ukraine. In a statement, newly elected Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko expressed his deep condolences to the families of the fallen troops and border servicemen who died during the anti-terrorist operation. “I will make Sunday the mourning day for our military men. This is a great loss not just for the families of the dead, but the whole country. Ukraine is in sorrow, but we decisively continue to fight for peace,†Poroshenko said. The president also promised to avenge the deaths of the fallen soldiers. “All those involved in the cynical terrorist act of such a magnitude, will inevitably be punished. Ukraine needs peace. But the terrorists will get an adequate response,†he said. Poroshenko added that he had ordered Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council to meet to discuss the issue of a response, and had ordered the cabinet to provide assistance to the families of the dead. Troop from Dnipropetrovsk 25th airborne brigade who I met in #Sloviansk shows unit's patch. Today 40 comrades dead. pic.twitter.com/cjGpHluuPE — Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) June 14, 2014 Video released on Saturday filmed by a CCTV camera mounted on a building near the Luhansk airport shows two separate explosions lighting up the night sky near the landing strip, where the military cargo plane was preparing to land around 1:10 a.m., local time. The first is believed to be a hit from a surface-to-air missile, though no missile can be seen, while the second is likely to be the moment of impact. The plane was carrying troops being rotated into eastern Ukraine, as well as military equipment and food, Ukraine's Ministry of Defence reported . A s