Ukrainian government soldiers drive atop their armored personal carriers outside the city of Siversk, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine July 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
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A Ukrainian military transport plane was shot down Monday along the country's eastern border with Russia, the defense minister said.Rebels in conflict-wracked eastern Ukraine immediately claimed responsibility for downing the Antonov-26 but Ukrainian Defense Minister Valeriy Heletey said the rocket may have been fired from Russia. Despite reports of military successes, however, Ukraine's president announced he has more evidence that Russia has directly supported a separatist insurgency against his government that is dragging into its fourth month.The leader of the military wing of the insurgency, Igor Girkin, also known by his nom de guerre Strelkov, had over the weekend predicted a bitter fight for Luhansk, a city of 400,000, and estimated that Ukrainian forces had deployed up to 70 tanks in the offensive.
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