Pro-Russia rebels shot down a Ukrainian fighter jet on Sunday, before Kiev and Moscow’s top diplomats were due to hold urgent talks to defuse tensions over fighting in the east of the ex-Soviet nation.

Ukraine‘s military said its MiG-29 warplane had been shot down as it carried out “an assignment to eliminate a large group of terrorists” in the Luhansk region. The pilot managed to parachute to safety, it said.

Authorities in the main rebel city of Donetsk said shelling had killed 10 civilians in 24 hours as government forces pressed on with an offensive to oust separatists.

Meanwhile, Germany demanded that Moscow clarify boasts by a rebel leader in the besieged city that he had recently received hundreds of fighters trained in Russia to bolster the flagging rebellion.

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