Ukraine: Pro-Russian rebels to blame for plane shooting

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."

Read: Ukrainian military plane with 49 on board shot down

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Nato 'preparing measures to help Ukraine defend itself'

Nato is preparing measures to help Ukraine defend itself in its stand-off with Russia, the head of the military organisation said.