Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said militant fighters fought back against the advancing Ukrainian units with heavy weaponry, including grenade launchers and shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles. There was no immediate sign that Ukraine's forces were moving further into the city.
Separatist leaders claimed to have shot down four Ukrainian helicopters in the clash, Russian state media reported, but Ukraine's defense ministry said two helicopters had been shot down and that two soldiers were killed and several more wounded. Ukraine's state security service confirmed only one Mi-24 chopper was taken down, with one pilot killed and the other taken captive.
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