Wednesday, Jun 3, 2015Wednesday, Jun 3, 2015

Ukraine military helicopter downed by rebel fire, 9 feared dead

Published on Jun 24, 2014 11:19 PM

KIEV (AFP) - Nine Ukrainian servicemen died on Tuesday when pro-Russian insurgents shot down an army helicopter in the separatist east just a day after a top militia leader ordered a temporary ceasefire.

"There were nine people on board the helicopter. According to preliminary information... everyone on board died," Ukrainian defence spokesman Vladyslav Seleznyov wrote in a Facebook post.

Army officials said the Mi-8 helicopter was downed outside the rebel stronghold city of Slavyansk that has absorbed some of the heaviest fighting in the 11-week insurgency in Ukraine's Russified eastern rustbelt.

The Ukrainian army earlier reported fighting outside the city despite a temporary ceasefire being ordered by a top rebel commander on Monday evening.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!