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
ITV News understands the remains of 14 of those who died in the Alps mountain air disaster have been returned to
Ed Miliband formally launched Labour's election campaign hours after he and David Cameron submitted themselves to the first TV event.
Investigators believe Andreas Lubitz deliberately killed himself and 149 others. They are now attempting to ascertain why.