2 May 2014 ~ Second Update
“The attack is targeting a few checkpoints at the same time. A few armored vehicles and airborne combat vehicles arrived and airborne troops descended from the helicopters and attacked the checkpoints,” RIA Novosti quoted the press secretary of the Slavyansk self-defense units as saying.Mayor of Slavyansk Vyacheslav Ponomarev also said two helicopters were shot down by pro-Russian gunmen, leaving one pilot dead and another one arrested.
Several protesters were injured during the offensive, Interfax cited the city’s self-defense unit as saying.
Ukraine War: Government forces move on Sloviansk' ~ link ~ Make no mistake, this is no longer the Ukraine Crisis, it is now the UKRAINE WAR!!! Stirling
UKRAINIAN government forces are reported to have launched an operation in the city of Sloviansk.
The city is a stronghold for pro-Russian separatists who are exerting increasing control in eastern Ukraine.
News agencies report gunfire, explosions and a military helicopter firing on the outskirts of the city.
Pro-Russian "rebels": Ukraine coup junta has launched combat operations to retake eastern town ~ link ~ This changes everything! Stirling
Ukrainian forces launched a "large-scale operation" to retake the eastern town of Slaviansk, pro-Russian separatists holding the town said on Friday, as security deteriorated in a crisis that has provoked the biggest confrontation between Russia and the West since the Cold War.
A Reuters photographer said he saw a military helicopter open fire on the outskirts of the town and a reporter heard gunfire. Separatists said they were under attack and that at least one helicopter had been shot down.
Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, the self-declared mayor or the town, was quoted by Russia's Interfax news agency as saying two helicopters had been shot down and one pilot had been detained. Another had been killed.
Obama and Merkel in talks on the Ukraine as War breaks out ~ link ~ Gunfire and heavy detonations were heard Friday just to the north of Ukraine's rebel-held town of Slavyansk, insurgents and AFP journalists said.
A helicopter was earlier also seen circling low in what appeared to be part of an attack by Ukrainian forces, said the rebels, who had set a roadblock on fire to produce cloaking smoke.