There are a couple of significant news items in Ukraine today, and both of them will hike tensions in the region.
Earlier today Pro-Russia Rebels Down Ukraine Jet as Fighting Escalates.
Pro-Russian rebels shot down a transport plane in eastern Ukraine, killing 49 servicemen and threatening to ratchet up east-west tensions over suspicions President Vladimir Putin is backing the uprising.
The killing of the 40 soldiers and nine crew was the deadliest strike on Ukrainian forces since separatists seized government buildings on April 6. The IL-76 aircraft went down as it approached Luhansk airport at 1:10 a.m. local time under anti-aircraft and machine-gun fire, authorities including the Kiev-based Prosecutor General’s Office said today.
The incident, which may fuel tensions between Moscow and Washington, Ukraine’s main ally, came after the U.S. accused Moscow of sending heavy weapons, including old-model tanks and multiple-rocket launchers, to the rebels, who say they are fighting a war against fascism and to join Russia. Moscow is also threatening to cut off natural gas supplies to Ukraine.