Zee Media Bureau
Kiev: Hours after pro-Russian rebels downed a military chopper in Ukraine killing 12 soldiers including a general, President-elect Petro Poroshenko has vowed to crush the "bandits".
"These criminal acts of the enemies of the Ukrainian people will not go unpunished," Poroshenko said, as per a news agency.
The rebels shot down the helicopter near the eastern city of Sloviansk, where pro-Moscow rebels and Ukraine`s Army has been involved in fierce fightings.
The militants shot the Mi-8 helicopter gunship out of the sky with a sophisticated surface-to-air missile, which the White House said raised concerns about the rebels being supplied "from the outside".
One of the separatist leaders made a surprise admission on Thursday that 33 out of more than 40 rebels killed during a raid on a Donetsk airport this week were Russian nationals from Muslim regions such as Chechnya.
The revelation challenged President Vladimir Putin`s rejection of Russian links to the separatist drive and supports Kiev`s claims that the rebels do not represent the true will of the miners and steel workers who have turned the east into the economic engine of Ukraine.
(With agency inputs)