April 25 - Tensions escalate as Ukraine and Russia trade accusations about their roles in the ongoing crisis. Nathan Frandino reports.
Smoke billows above an airfield in eastern Ukraine where a military helicopter has come under fire. The army said Friday that a rocket-propelled grenade destroyed a chopper near the rebel-held city of Slaviansk. No one died in the incident, the latest event in a series of escalations. Meanwhile, a war of words unfolds. Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk accuses Russia of wanting to start World War Three. (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINE PRIME MINISTER ARSENY YATSENIUK SAYING: "And it is clear that Russia's goal is, first, to wreck the election in Ukraine so that Ukraine will not have a legally elected president. Second, to remove the pro-Western and pro-Ukrainian government. And third, to occupy Ukraine militarily as well as politically." His words come after an explosive device injured seven at a pro-Ukrainian checkpoint near the Black Sea port of Odessa. Ukrainian forces also killed up to five pro-Russian rebels a day earlier. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says those responsible will pay. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER, SERGEI LAVROV, SAYING: "Some 160 tanks, some 250 armoured personnel carriers and other heavy military hardware, aviation are waging a war with their own people. This is a bloody crime, and those who pushed the army to do that will pay, I am sure, and will face justice." Meanwhile, Russia is conducting military exercises on its border with Ukraine. Lavrov says the country remains committed to easing tensions.