A week-long ceasefire in eastern Ukraine is now in doubt as nine people are feared dead after a helicopter used for transporting military cargo was allegedly shot down by rebel forces.
The helicopter is believed to have been carrying technicians who had been installing equipment to monitor violations of the ceasefire in the country’s crisis-torn east.
Military analyst Dmytro Tymchuk is said to have good sources in the armed forces. He said a missile fired from a shoulder-held launcher brought the helicopter down. The assailants are then reported to have fled into a nearby village.
In response to the incident, newly-elected President Petro Poroshenko declared he may now end the truce earlier than the original June 27 deadline.
The incident is said to have taken place near the town of Slovyansk.
The eastern town has been under separatist control for over two months. Latest figures from the United Nations suggest four hundred and twenty three people have been killed during clashes in the east since mid-April.