Ukraine crisis: Kiev launches dramatic air strike on pro-Russian rebels in Donetsk airport
Petro Poroshenko vows to restore order in east Ukraine
Ukraine has launched an air strike on pro-Russian militiamen who seized an airport in Donetsk just hours after president-elect Petro Poroshenko vowed to crackdown on insurgents.
Reporters on the ground saw three Mi-24 helicopter gunships fire rockets and cannon at Donetsk's Sergei Prokofiev International Airport and a thick cloud of black smoke emerging from the area in a show of force against pro-Russian rebels.
A spokesperson for the Ukrainian joint forces security operation told Reuters two Sukhoi Su-25 jets, an Mi-24 helicopter and a team of paratroopers took part in the operation after insurgents ignored a 1pm deadline to put their weapons down and leave. So far, there are no confirmed reports of casualties.
The operation comes just hours after the billionaire confectioner Poroshenko, known as the 'Chocolate King', vowed to end the "war and chaos" in the east after exit polls gave him a majority in Sunday's presidential elections and accused the rebels of turning east Ukraine "into Somalia".
"I will not let anyone do this to our state and I hope that Russia will support my approach," he added, insisting that he would not negotiate with "terrorists" preserving a "bandit state".
Today, Mr Poroshenko stressed that the anti-terrorist operation "cannot and should not last two or three months", stressing that military efforts must be more effective as Kiev moves to suppress the wave of insurgency.
Pro-Russian rebels have seized government building, declared independent "people's republics" in the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in east Ukraine, and clashed with government forces since violence first erupted in April.
Meanwhile, Russia has said it is "ready for dialogue" and insisted that there is no need for the West to mediate between Kiev and Moscow. However, the Kremlin also warned Ukraine would be making a "colossal mistake" if it steps up military action against the rebels, arguing that respect must be "mutual".
- 1 Al Pacino on suffering from depression: 'It can last and it's terrifying'
- 2 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Perez Hilton apologises for publishing Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
Jennifer Lawrence 'nude photo hacker' claims there are hundreds more celebrity images to come
Victoria Justice on naked photo leak: 'Let me nip this in the bud right now – pun intended'
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
Ariana Grande nude photos leak: Pictures are completely fake, say singer's representatives
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain
£35000 - £36500 per annum: Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator (SharePoint) -...
£90 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: We are currently recruiting...
£30000 - £37000 per annum + attractive benefits: Ashdown Group: .NET Developer...
Main Pay Scale : Randstad Education Leeds: Biology Teacher to A Level - Female...