Ukraine pushes rebels from eastern stronghold

Ukrainian forces have raised the national flag over the pro-Russian rebels’ main stronghold of Slovyansk after flushing them out of the eastern industrial city, the country’s defence minister has said “The Ukrainian national flag was raised over the Slovyansk city council before a lineup of Ukrainian soldiers,” Ukraine’s defence minister, Valery Heletey, said on Saturday in a statement posted on the president’s official website. Arsen Avakov, said a large number of pro-Russian separatists had fled the city after attacks from Ukrainian forces. In a statement on his Facebook page, Avakov said: “A significant number of militants have left … along the way, our battle group is ‘greeting’ them. They are suffering losses and surrendering.” The Interfax news agency quoted the leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Aleksandr Borodai, as saying that his forces were pushed back by a “large-scale” offensive. “Given the disproportionate numerical superiority of the enemy troops, units of the armed forces of...

Read More...


Ukraine helicopters shot down in Slovyansk

Security service says airman killed and another captured after forces launch operation against separatist stronghold Pro-Russian forces in Slovyansk shot down two Ukrainian helicopters, killed two soldiers and wounded others, after the army launched an operation against the separatist stronghold. Ukraine’s Defence Ministry on Friday said two Mi-24 shot down and one Mi-8 damaged by unknown groups. The SBU security service earlier one airman was killed, others were wounded and an airman had also been captured by the separatists. A third helicopter carrying medics was also hit, wounding at least one person on board. The SBU said man-portable missiles were used against one helicopter – proof that “trained, highly qualified foreign military specialists” were operating in the area “and not local civilians, as the Russian government says, armed only with guns taken from hunting stores”. The Ukrainian interior minister, Arsen Avakov, said on his Facebook page that troops had taken control of...

Read More...


Ukraine deploys troops against separatists

Special forces start “anti-terrorism operation” against pro-Russian armed rebels in two eastern towns. Ukraine has launched an “anti-terrorist operation” against pro-Russian activists in eastern cities of Kramatorsk and Slovyansk as part of a wider efforts to crack down on separatism in the country’s troubled east. Al Jazeera’s Kim Vinnell, reporting from the ground on Tuesday, said military aircraft were despatched from Izyum to Kramatorsk to bring the seized airfield there back under the government control. Russian media was circulating unconfirmed reports of casualties. Russian news agency Itar-Tass later reported, citing witnesses from the scene, that one of four Ukrainian military jets has been shot down. Meanwhile, Oleksandr Turchynov, Ukraine’s acting president said Kramatorsk airfield was regained from pro-Russian armed rebels, Interfax news agency reported. There were also reports of Ukrainian military vehicles entering the eastern city of Slovyansk. Dozens of Ukrainian special forces and paratroopers positioned themselves on Monday...

Read More...