Ukraine Rebels Down Helicopters
Government tries to retake pro-Russia stronghold
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2014 5:00 AM CDT
Local citizens marched Soviet flags as they marked May Day in Slovyansk, eastern Ukraine yesterday.   (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

(Newser) – Ukrainian forces—declining to follow Russia's suggestion that they withdraw from their own country—are trying to retake the pro-Russia rebel stronghold of Slovyansk in fighting that has killed at least three people. The dead include at least two soldiers killed when the insurgents shot down two Ukrainian military helicopters, the BBC reports. The defense ministry says the use of surface-to-air missiles shows that they are dealing with a "well-trained and armed professional subversive group committing acts of terrorism and sabotage in order to destabilize the region."

Ukraine's interior minister says security forces are fighting to "free hostages, force the militants to lay down their arms and vacate government buildings, and to restore the normal functioning of the city"; government forces have taken control of nine checkpoints surrounding the city, reports the Wall Street Journal. Moscow—which earlier warned that any move against pro-Russia militants would have "catastrophic consequences" for Ukraine—says the offensive has "effectively destroyed the last hope for the implementation of the Geneva agreements" that were intended to defuse the crisis, the AP reports.

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LibertyReloaded
May 2, 2014 12:57 PM CDT
NATO promised to protect Ukraine, Ukraine in turn dissolved much of their military. This should be a wake up call that the US should not go down this same path of disarmament; neither our nukes or our 2nd amendment. We will never get invaded at home as long as the world knows most people pack heat in the US. We have to take the good with the bad, because once we have Russian or Chinese troops marching in our streets, it won't get much worse than that.
kawahchan
May 2, 2014 11:43 AM CDT
(R) 2016 Gov. RICK PERRY Report: When Sen. Bob Corker decide to send the DRONE Supervisors and operation-teams to assist the pro-EU Kiev government for anti-Terrorist operation; how is our US-NATO Satellite "shining" over the Eastern Ukraine. Russia's Putin supplies ground-to-air missiles to the pro-Russia Eastern Ukrainian militants, so be careful. Never mind, Obama.
Berkyjay
May 2, 2014 11:09 AM CDT
This just in, Russia is full of pussies who don't have the balls to go through with an actual invasion.