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Ukraine president says may revoke ceasefire after helicopter downing

Published on Jun 25, 2014 6:30 AM
 
Ukraine’s new Western-backed president said on Tuesday he may revoke his one-week unilateral ceasefire to allow government forces to retaliate for the downing by pro-Russian rebels of an army helicopter that killed nine servicemen. -- PHOTO: AFP

KIEV (AFP) - Ukraine’s new Western-backed president said on Tuesday he may revoke his one-week unilateral ceasefire to allow government forces to retaliate for the downing by pro-Russian rebels of an army helicopter that killed nine servicemen.

“The head of state does not exclude that the ceasefire regime may be revoked ahead of schedule in view of its constant violation by rebels who are controlled from abroad,” President Petro Poroshenko’s office said in a statement that was clearly referring to Russia’s alleged involvement in the 11-week insurgency.

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 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.

 
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