ATO press officer: Ukrainian military helicopter shot down near Sloviansk

A Mi-8 helicopter of the Ukrainian armed forces involved in a military operation in eastern Ukraine has been shot down, Vladyslav Selezniov, the head of the anti-terrorist operation’s information service, told Interfax-Ukraine on June 24 evening.

‘Terrorists shot the helicopter down with the help of an air defense system,’ Dmytro Tymchuk, director of Ukraine’s Centre of Military and Political Research, said on Facebook. ‘According to preliminary data, 9 militants are killed including 3 crew members,’ he added.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Vladimir Putin admitted that ‘it is not enough just to declare truce’ at a news conference after today’s talks with Austria’s president. At the same time, Kiev should not be demanding disarmament in eastern Ukraine, Mr Putin said. ‘Radical elements like the Right Sector and other radical [groups] are not yet disarmed, despite repeatedly talking about that and basically promising that illegal groups will lay down arms,’ Russia Today quotes Mr Putin as saying.

It is to be recalled that Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested Tuesday that the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, the Federation Council, cancelled its permission for a Russian military action in Ukraine.

On June, 21 Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree enacting the decision of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of June 16 this year, which supported the president’s plan on the peaceful settlement of the situation in the eastern regions of the country. Poroshenko’s plan envisions guarantees of security for all parties to negotiations, an exemption from criminal liability for those who did not commit serious crimes and who lay down their arms, and the freeing of hostages.But the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic refused to recognise the terms of truce: it has violated the regime of ceasefire more than 20 times.

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