DONETSK, June 3 (RIA Novosti) – Five independence supporters were reported killed, and 10 injured in fighting in the Eastern city of Slaviansk, a spokesman for the headquarters of the independence suporters said Tuesday.
"Five people were killed dead and around 10 injured," the spokesman said.
He added that the fighting was ongoing and that he is unaware if Ukraine’s army had any casualties. The self-defense forces downed a Ukraine’s army fighter jet and shot a tank during the fight, the spokesman added.
“The fighting is underway in near Semenovka and Cherevkovka [eastern neighborhoods of Slaviansk]. We managed to shot down a Su-25 [fighter jet], a Mi-24 helicopter and a tank. We have spent a lot of ‘needles’ [Igla/Needle MANPADs],” the headquarters representative said.
It’s the first time self-defense forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic have downed an aircraft.
The independence supporters also said damaged two helicopters that caught on fire.
They called today’s fight the worst one since the start of the Kiev’s crackdown.
Earlier self-defense forces reported that the Ukrainian troops were storming Slaviansk using military aircraft. The most intense clashes had been underway near Krasnyi Lyman, a city to the north of Slaviansk, but self-defense forces repelled the attack. They damaged several Ukrainian army’s APCs.
Earlier in the day acting Ukrainian Interior Minister Aresen Avakov said that a military action is underway near Slaviansk using armored vehicles and grenade launchers.
Last week Donetsk, one of Ukraine’s largest cities, became the center of violent crackdown. Bloody battles between Kiev-led troops and local protesters in and around the international airport left about 100 people dead.
On Monday afternoon the Ukrainian Air Force carried out an airstrike on the administration building of Luhansk. According to Luhansk People’s Republic cluster bombs banned by the international convention were used in the attack. At least five people are thought to have been killed and dozens injured in the airstrike.