The Ukrainian Defence Ministry said pro-Russian rebel "terrorists" shot down a military plane carry 40 service members and nine crew as it landed at Lugansk.
The ministry statement said that the rebels "cynically and treacherously" downed the plane using anti-aircraft guns and heavy caliber machine guns.
It expressed sympathy to the families of those killed "for their tragic and irreparable loss."
More top news
Firefighters are at the scene this morning
Tony Blair has called for Remain voters to persuade Brexit supporters that the UK is better off in the EU.
The 29-year-old victim, Manmeet Alisher, was described as a much-loved member of Brisbane's Punjabi community.