Fourteen Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in a helicopter crash near the city of Slavyansk in the Donetsk Region, according to the acting president of Ukraine, Aleksandr Turchinov.
Anti-government protesters in Slavyansk have downed a Ukrainian forces helicopter in the south-east of Slavyansk in the Donetsk region.
Fourteen servicemen, including a major-general, Vladimir Kulchitsky, have have been killed in a helicopter crash near Slavyansk, according to the acting president of Ukraine, Aleksandr Turchinov, who spoke at a parliamentary session in Kiev.
Kulchitsky, 51, was the head of the department of Combat and Special training in Ukraine’s National Guard.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s National Guard reported 12 dead: six servicemen, including the helicopter crew and six members of the Berkut forces.
Ukraine’s army has started shelling the eastern Ukraine cities of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk, thereby resuming its massive military operation in the East of the country, local news outlets report.
“A full-scale military operation has begun in Kramatorsk and Slavyansk. BM-21 launch vehicle “Grad” are being used,” Donbas-based Ostrov agency says.
“Intensive shooting has been heard in the region, and thick black smoke seen,” he added.