MOSCOW - Russia's defence ministry said on Sunday its aircraft shot down a Ukrainian MI-17 helicopter near the eastern town of Sloviansk and a SU-25 aircraft in Kharkiv region, as Moscow has stepped up its military operation.

The army also said that its long-range air-based missiles have destroyed a depot in an industrial zone in southern Ukrainian city of Odesa that stored Harpoon anti-ship missiles delivered to Ukraine by NATO countries.

Reuters could not immediately verify the claims.

(Reporting by Reuters)