Ukraine Forces 'Control Half of Slaviansk Territory'
Ukrainain special forces claimed Friday to control "half of Slaviansk", hours after Kiev renewed its operation against pro-Russian separatists.
Officials from the Security Service of Ukraine regained significant parts of the city in what authorities describe as an "anti-terrorist" operation.
Security representatives reported ten checkpoints on the outskirts of Slaviansk were under their command, and locals already sent requests of help and protection to their headquarters, according to Russia's RIA Novosti agency.
Media reports cited by Ukrainian agency UNIAN meanwhile suggest that the US BuzzFeed author Mike Giglio and interpreter Elena Glazunova, who were earlier captured by rebels in Slaviansk, were released during the operation.
Friday's government-ordered storming of Slaviansk took a violent turn, as pro-Russian separatists were reported to have downed two Air Force combat helicopters, with one pilot dead and a serviceman injured.
Moscow has condemned Ukraine's operation in the south-east, with the Kremlin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov declaring that, “while Russia is taking measures to deescalate the conflict in Ukraine, the Kiev regime decided to use combat aviation on peaceful settlements, launched a punitive operation and thus killed all hope of viability of the Geneva agreement.”
Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, on the other hand, has accused the separatists of being "professional mercenaries" using heavy weapons.
Earlier during the week, Ukraine's interim President Oleksandr Turchynov admitted his country's troops were "helpless" rebel-controlled regions.
Thursday, however, saw renewed preparations for storming into occupied buildings and sealed-off towns and cities across Donetsk and Luhansk.
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More shit fed to the sheep by the "authorities" in Kiev. The reality is that two gunships and one troop/cargo helo were downed just one hour into this "antiterrorist operation" against bunch of villagers on the outskirts of Slaviansk. What a parameter of success. Keep feeding the sheep!!!
Looking at the Western media Reuters US says Kiev Government only controls checkpoints in the West and East of Slaviansk Town and local self defense groups control checkpoints to the South and East.
Der Bild Germany says unarmed people are standing in front of tanks from Kiev in the suburbs to stop them entering the town.
The BBC says the Kiev forces are just outside the suburbs and that the town is under the control of the pro referendum democracy protestors.
Two Kiev military helicopters were shot down and possibly a third.
The illegal Kiev government is desperate to cling to power and is killing Eastern Ukranians in order to show that they are effective.
The illegal Kiev government are war criminals.
These fascists from Lvov and Kiev control absolutely nothing. Even now in Odessa, people have had enough, and are awaiting arrival of Russian peacekeepers. This EU has destroyed a great country, now Ukraine will be swallowed up by Russia, and only a little part in the west will remain as what is known as Ukraine. Just like Yugoslavia was destroyed , now it is Ukraine turn. So sad. What a nice peaceful country it was. I will miss Ukraine so much. EU just does not understand the east countries.