A separatist leader claimed on social media his men had shot down an aircraft in eastern Ukraine shortly before reports emerged of a passenger plane crashing in the area, Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty reports.
Igor Girkin wrote on Russia's largest social media site this afternoon: "In the vicinity of Torez, we just downed a plane, an AN-26 [a transport plane used by Ukrainian military].
"It is lying somewhere in the Progress Mine. We have issued warnings not to fly in our airspace. We have video confirming. The bird fell on a waste heap. Residential areas were not hit. Civilians were not injured."
The post also included two videos that showed black smoke billowing in the distance.