Separatists in the east of Ukraine who refuse to submit to the political and military authority in Kiev have shot down a helicopter near the city Slaviansk, killing a reported fourteen soldiers including a general.
Clashes have continued between military units that reject the outcomes of national elections that took place Sunday and members of the established Ukraine army who have been directed by Kiev to crush those who have taken over buildings and claimed “autonomy” for territories in the regions of Luhansk and Donetsk.
On Monday, a battle between opposing forces left a reported 50 or more dead at the main airpoort in Donetsk and Thursday’s helicopter downing is a sure sign that the violence is not yet over in Ukraine.
Leaders in Kiev and Moscow have continued to trade barbs amid the violence even as Sunday’s election results—in which billionaire Petro Poroshenko was elected as the new president—spurred hope for a new round of talks between the warring sides inside Ukraine.
With neither side willing to put down its guns, however, traction for a negotiated settlement continues to slip.
In Kiev, Defense Minister Mikhailo Koval said on Thursday that the military assault in the east would continue as he continued to paint those opposed to the Kiev government–who came to power in a coup earlier this year–as “terrorist” forces.
“We have put all our forces and equipment into the anti-terrorist operation,” said Koval. “We have covered the whole state border.”
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