Wednesday 11 December 2019

Ukrainian military helicopter comes under fire near rebel-held Slaviansk

A pro-Russian man stands guard at a checkpoint which was left by Ukrainian security force officers near Slaviansk. Reuters
A pro-Russian man stands guard at a checkpoint which was left by Ukrainian security force officers near Slaviansk. Reuters

A Ukrainian military helicopter was hit by gunfire while on the ground on Friday at an airfield near the rebel-held eastern city of Slaviansk and caught fire, wounding the pilot, security and military officials said.

Vasyl Krutov, the head of the government's joint operations Anti-Terrorism Centre (ATC), told a news conference in Kiev that a sniper bullet hit the fuel tank of the Mi-8 transport aircraft at Kramatorsk, causing an explosion. The pilot was injured.

A Reuters correspondent saw thick black smoke rising over the airfield and Ukrainian troops were barring access. A soldier said the helicopter had caught fire while on the ground. Local residents said they had heard shooting and three explosions.

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