Pro-Russian rebels shot down two Ukrainian fighter jets on Wednesday, not far from where a Malaysian airliner was brought down last week in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 passengers on board. A spokesman for Ukraine's military operations said the planes were downed near Savur Mogila, a burial mound in the Shaktersky region where a memorial marks ambushes by the Soviet army on occupying Nazis during World War Two. Igor Strelkov, who is now in charge of the rebel ranks in the eastern city of Donetsk, said the separatists had brought down one plane and that the pilot had ejected. Fierce fighting raged near the rebels' two main centers in Donetsk and nearby Luhansk, where they have been pushed back by Ukrainian government forces, who have taken control of villages and suburbs around the cities.
By Thomas Escritt AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Bells pealed and flags flew at half mast across the Netherlands on Wednesday on a day of grief tinged with anger ahead of the arrival of the first bodies of victims from a Malaysian airliner downed over Ukraine last week on a flight from Amsterdam. Prime Minister Mark Rutte led the first National Day of Mourning since the death of wartime Queen Wilhelmina in 1962 in memory of the 298 people killed when flight MH17 crashed in an area of eastern Ukraine held by Russian-backed separatists. Amid U.S. accusations that the rebels shot the civilian plane down in error with a Russian-supplied missile, an opinion poll showed an overwhelming majority of the Dutch want economic sanctions imposed on Moscow, even if it hurts their own economy. Windmills around this low-lying coastal nation were set in a mourning position and church bells will toll just before the first military transport planes carrying the remains arrive from Kharkiv, in eastern Ukraine.