RIGA, May 29 (RIA Novosti) – About 1,200 Ukrainian army soldiers have been killed during a special operation in Slaviansk, and eight helicopters and 15 armored vehicles were destroyed, Slaviansk people's mayor Vyacheslav Ponomaryov said Thursday.
"According to our information, the Ukrainian army has the following losses and damages: 1,200-1,300 people were killed, eight helicopters, 15 armored transport vehicles, and three [artillery] weapons destroyed. They are suffering huge losses. I’m speaking only about Slaviansk," Ponomaryov said in an interview with the Latvian radio station Baltkom.
Acting President Oleksandr Turchynov confirmed Thursday the downing of a military helicopter had killed 14 Ukrainian servicemen, including a general. Soon after that, the Ukrainian National Guard clarified that 12, not 14 people were killed in the Mi-8 helicopter crash near Slaviansk.
The people’s mayor also noted that the self-defense forces of Slaviansk had lost about 200 people.
"About 200 were killed and 300 wounded," Ponomaryov specified.
Ponomaryov also mentioned that several civilians died and eight people were wounded yesterday.
The troops involved in the military operation in southeastern Ukraine began firing mortars at Slaviansk Tuesday at around noon local time. Several private homes were razed, including houses in the villages of Andreevka and Sergeevka in the city’s suburbs. Several dozen people were killed.
Alexei Pushkov, the head of the Russian Duma’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, wrote Wednesday that the Kiev interim authorities are lying when they claim the residential areas in eastern Ukraine are not being targeted by troops.
The active phase of the military operation has now been suspended, Ukraine's UNIAN news agency reported Thursday.