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All 171 people aboard a Russian passenger jet that crashed in Ukraine are believed to have died.

 

Ukrainian officials have said the plane crashed shortly after sending out an SOS message.

 

The plane was flying from the Black Sea resort of Anapa to St Petersburg when it disappeared from radar screens.

 

There are understood to have been 160 passengers and 11 crew.

 

The RIA-Novosti news agency reported that pieces of the plane had been found on the ground near the Ukrainian city of Donetsk.

 

The plane belongs to Pulkovo airlines, which is based in St Petersburg.

 

This is the third major plane crash in Russia this year, and comes less than two months after at least 124 people died when an Airbus A-310 of the Russian company S7 skidded off a runway in Siberia.

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Some discussion as to cause - some are saying it tried to land after catching fire in mid air - other sthat it had hit bad weather

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