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Ukraine separatists down army helicopter, 14 killed

Thursday, May 29, 2014 - 01:51

May 29 - Ukraine's death toll mounts, with forteen soldiers killed when pro-Russian separatists shot down a Ukrainian army helicopter. Jillian Kitchener reports.

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Preparing the coffins as the death toll mounts in Ukraine. After weeks of Kiev accusing Russia of involvement in the uprising, a rebel leader admits that some fighters who died in a fierce government offensive had been "volunteers" from Russia. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) PRO-RUSSIAN SEPARATIST MILITANT, 'VARAN', SAYING: "I can only say that I hope Ukraine makes up its mind and will not bring its troops into the city. Especially when the city is surrounded by the Ukrainian troops, which could be enough. If they want a war it will be a slaughter from both sides." There are losses on all sides. Acting Ukrainian President Oleksander Turchinov confirms that at least 14 Ukrainian soldiers were killed Thursday, when pro-Russian separatists shot down an army helicopter. (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) ACTING UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT, OLEKSANDER TURCHINOV, SAYING: "I have just received information from the area near Slaviansk that terrorists with Russian weapons PZRK have shot our helicopter carrying soldiers for rotation. Fourteen of our soldiers died including General (Volodymyr) Kulchytsky." Ukraine's acting defence minister said they would press ahead and crush rebellions in the east. This, following the election of a new president. But Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the violence must stop. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER, SERGEI LAVROV, SAYING: "The matter can no longer be moved forward just by simple talks. Perhaps more efficient mediation efforts are needed to stop the violence, including, above all, the punitive operation, and to start dialogue with mutual respect." So far few signs of resolution in the east where pro Russian separatists man checkpoints on the way to the airport where two days of clashes left scores dead.

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Ukraine separatists down army helicopter, 14 killed

Thursday, May 29, 2014 - 01:51