Ukraine announces the downing of two Russian helicopters in the capital

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On Thursday, the Ukrainian armed forces announced the downing of two Russian helicopters in the Gostomel region, near the capital, Kyiv.

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The State Emergency Service said in a statement that a Ukrainian military plane crashed in the Zhukhivtsi region near Kyiv, killing 5 people.

Ukraine had announced earlier that 50 Russian militants had been killed, 7 planes had been shot down, and 4 Russian tanks had been destroyed.

At dawn on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced, in a televised statement, the launch of a military operation in the Donbass region, eastern Ukraine.

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He accused what he called the “leading countries” in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, “NATO”, of supporting what he described as “the neo-Nazis in Ukraine”.