The Security Council meeting begins at 1200 noon EST
The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting at noon Eastern time to discuss Ukraine at the behest of RussiaWe have three sources for the news, video & images below USA Today & Itar Tass & GMA
As Ukraine mounts a major assault Friday against pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine, Russia has called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss the escalating violence.
A spokesman for Russia's permanent mission at the United Nations told ITAR-TASS on Friday that Ukrainian special forces have started a "punitive operation" in the city of Slovyansk in eastern Ukraine.
“Russia is calling an open meeting of the United Nations Security Council over Kiev’s punitive operation,” the spokesman said, adding that the meeting would begin after a closed-doors meeting of the United Nations Security Council dedicated to the Council’s schedule for 2-3 May.
Ukrainian special forces have started a punitive operation in the city of Sloviansk early on Friday morning. “A full sweep operation was launched” with armoured vehicles and warplanes involved in it, a representative of the city militia told ITAR-TASS. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry stated that two Ukrainian Air Force’s helicopter gunships Mil Mi-24 had been downed and a military transport helicopter Mi-8 had been damaged in clashes.
Three deaths have been reported in early fighting, including a Ukrainian pilot and a serviceman who were killed when two helicopters were shot down near Slovyansk, both sides said.
One pro-Russian militant was killed and another injured in the fighting, said Stella Khorosheva, a spokeswoman for the pro-Russian militants.
The intensification of clashes had already led Moscow to warn that any hope of implementing the Geneva agreements was now all but over. The offensive was launched just a day after Putin warned that the Ukraine should withdraw its military from the east and south of the country.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said the offensive "effectively destroyed the last hope for the implementation of the Geneva agreements" that were intended to defuse the crisis.
Slovyansk's self-proclaimed mayor, Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, released a video addressed to local citizens, asking women and children to stay home, and calling on men who have weapons to help defend the city.
"We were attacked. Our city is under siege. There are losses," Ponomaryov said. "I think we will defend the city. We will win."