Ukraine is down one helicopter gunship tonight, after an MI-8 was blown up on the runway in Kramatorsk, just outside of Slovyansk. The helicopter was to be sent on “surveillance” operations, but was also authorized to fire on protester forces.
Officials with Ukraine’s military claimed the incident was caused by a sniper hitting the fuel tank, causing a fire that ignited the ammunition on board. They insisted the incident had endangered “children” who were being kept at a building near the site.
Fighters with the Kramatorsk Brigade, a pro-protester militia, told a different story, claiming they’d fired a rocket propelled grenade at the helicopter, and the explosion happened right after that.
For the most part, helicopter gunships flying over protest areas in recent days have just been dropping leaflets demanding surrender, but with the Interior Ministry openly talking about “liquidating” the protesters in the area, the helicopters are an increasingly unwelcome presence above protest sites.
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