“Two Ukrainian servicemen were killed and several others have got different wounds in the shootout,” the ministry’s press service said.
Representatives of Sloviansk self-defense force have stated earlier in the day that a defender of the city was killed and another one was wounded.
The Defense Ministry’s press service has also confirmed that two helicopter gunships Mil Mi-24 were destroyed and the third military transport helicopter Mi-8 was damaged. “A Ukrainian army helicopter Mi-8 was damaged by gunshots. In this case no casualties and wounded people were reported,” the press service said. The Ukrainian Security Service’s anti-terrorism centre has claimed earlier in the day that the helicopter Mi-8 coming under fire allegedly belonged to the country’s Ministry of Emergency Situations.
“Armored vehicles are securing the assault by landing troops,” the policeman said. He said he is at a checkpoint in the city center.
Massive protests against the new Ukrainian authorities, who were propelled to power in Kiev amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February, erupted in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking southeastern regions in March after Crimea's incorporation by Russia. Demonstrators, who are demanding referendums on the country’s federalization, seized some government buildings.
The Kiev authorities have been conducting an antiterrorism operation in eastern Ukraine. Russia, which does not recognize the de facto Ukrainian leaders brought to power by the coup, has condemned the operation, apparently aimed to crack down on Ukrainian nationals supporting federalization.