Troops surround Slaviansk as residents build barricades

Armed men in Slaviansk have taken up positions around the south east Ukrainian city as residents sawed through trees to fortify barricades after troops from Kiev launched a raid to try to retake the rebel stronghold.

Troops surrounded the city, sending in military helicopters, two of which was shot down by pro-Russian separatists, killing its pilot and another serviceman.

Ukrainian soldiers stand guard at a Ukrainian checkpoint near the eastern town of Slaviansk Credit: Reuters
Civilians talk with Ukrainian troops at a Slaviansk checkpoint Credit: Reuters

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