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Ukraine observes day of mourning for military plane crash victims

KIEV, June 15, /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine observes on Sunday a day of mourning for the 49 victims of the Saturday crash of an Il-76 military transport plane, shot down by local people’s militia as it was about to land at the airport of Lugansk, eastern Ukrainian Donetsk region.

The plane was carrying 40 Ukrainian servicemen, heading for the region to participate in a punitive operation against the restive east, and nine crew. There were no survivors. In line with a decree by Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko, all entertainment and sports events are cancelled on Sunday, and flags fly at half-mast. A minute of silence will be observed at noon, local time.

According to the spokesperson for the head of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic, Oksana Chigirina, the military plane was shot down as it had violated the regime of ‘closed airspace’ over Lugansk imposed by the republic’s authorities.