Ukrainian forces launched a large-scale military operation that included an air assault in the early hours of Friday to retake the eastern town of Slaviansk, where administrative buildings have been seized by pro-Russian separatists.
- Ukraine's defence ministry confirmed reports that two helicopters had been shot down and that their pilots had been killed in the operation, which marks Kiev's largest military response yet to the seizure of local administration buildings by pro-Russian separatists in several eastern Ukrainian cities.
- The Ukrainian Security Service said its forces were fighting "highly skilled" foreign militias in Sloviansk, the Associated Press reported.
- Ukraine's acting interior minister, Arsen Avakov, said on his official Facebook page that government troops had so far managed to take control of nine checkpoints on roads around Sloviansk despite meeting fierce resistance.
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Date created : 2014-05-02