Putin Says Geneva Agreement No Longer Viable
Vladimir Putin is blaming Ukraine’s actions for nullifying the Geneva agreement.
A spokesman for Vladimir Putin said the Geneva agreement to defuse the situation in eastern Ukraine was no longer viable after Kiev launched a military operation against the rebel-held city of Slavyansk.
The Ukrainian military launched its first serious offensive to retake the city, which is being held by pro-Russia militia, early on Friday morning. The rebel militia said Ukrainian troops had launched attacks on several checkpoints. Ukraine’s defence minister, Arsen Avakov, said his forces had taken control of nine checkpoints to form a “tight ring” around the city.
Two Ukrainian helicopters were shot down and their pilots killed, both Russian and Ukrainian media reported. One militant was killed and another injured, according to the reports. Ukraine’s security service said one helicopter had been brought down by a surface-to-air missile, citing this as evidence that Slavyansk’s defenders were not just citizens who have armed themselves.