A Ukrainian military helicopter exploded at a base near the eastern town of Kramatorsk on Friday after being hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, officials in Kiev said. The helicopter was hit in the fuel tank and exploded.
“An army Mi-8 helicopter has exploded at the Kramatorsk aerodrome,” the defence ministry in Kiev said in a statement.
The chopper was on the ground when it was targeted and that the pilot managed to escape but sustained injuries.
The development came as the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) chief prosecutor opened a initial probe into crimes committed before and during the fall of Ukraine’s ousted president Viktor Yanukovych.
Kerry accused Russia of using the “barrel of a gun and the force of a mob” to impose its will on Ukraine. He said it’s failed to live up to commitments it made a week ago in Geneva to de-escalate the situation, and continued lack of cooperation would bring consequences. President Barack Obama plans to call European leaders to discuss sanctions today.
“If Russia continues in this direction, it will not just be a grave mistake, it will be an expensive mistake,” Kerry said at the State Department in Washington yesterday.
Latvia welcomed American troops on its soil, part of a US force of 600 sent to the region to reassure the Baltic states amid concern over Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
“Today is a special day because this morning I met the heads of the armed forces at the Adazi military base and greeted the US military unit that arrived this morning for military training,” Laimdota Straujuma, the prime minister said.
Some 150 troops from the 173rd Airborne Brigade will be based at the Adazi base near capital Riga until at least the end of the year, according to the Latvian defence ministry.
Another company of soldiers arrived in Poland on Wednesday, while around 150 others are each expected in Lithuania on Saturday and Estonia early next week.
Source : The Telegraph