News / Europe

Ukraine Says It Regained Control of Airport in East

  • A supporter of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic sits behind a newly erected barricade on the airport road in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, May 28, 2014.
  • Coalminers in the Donbass coalfields have gone on an open-ended strike to demand Ukrainian troops and other forces leave the Donetsk Region, May 28, 2014.
  • Interior Ministry security force members and investigators work inside a burned out regional office of the All-Ukrainian Union "Svoboda" (Freedom) Party, led by Oleh Tyahnybok, in Odessa, May 28, 2014.
  • Local people look at a burned out  car following a shelling from Ukrainian government forces, in Slovyansk, May 28, 2014.
  • The body of a pro-Russian gunman killed in clashes with Ukrainian government forces around the airport lies on a stretcher at a city morgue in Donetsk, May 27, 2014.
  • A wrecked Kamaz truck is seen near the Donetsk airport, Ukraine, May 27, 2014.
  • Firefighters work at an ice hockey arena in Donetsk, Ukraine, May 27, 2014.
  • People stand near belongings of separatists killed in a fight with pro-Ukrainian forces outside a morgue in Donetsk, Ukraine, May 27, 2014.
  • Pro-Russian militia men arrive to take positions outside an airport in Donetsk, Ukraine, May 26, 2014.
  • A woman reacts after seeing the lifeless body of a man killed by shrapnel following a shelling from Ukrainian government forces in Slovyansk, Ukraine, May 26, 2014.
  • A Ukrainian helicopter Mi-24 gunship fires its cannons against rebels at the main terminal building at the airport in Donetsk, Ukraine, May 26, 2014.
  • A military truck with armed pro-Russian militants drives through a police checkpoint toward the airport at Donetsk, Ukraine, May 26, 2014.
VOA News
After a day of punishing air strikes and fierce fighting with pro-Russia separatist gunmen, Ukraine said on Tuesday that it had regained control of Donetsk airport.

Dozens of militants were reported killed in the unusually lethal assault by Ukrainian government forces.

Reuters journalists counted 20 bodies in combat fatigues in one room of a city morgue in Donetsk. Some of the bodies were missing limbs, a sign that the government had brought to bear overwhelming firepower against the rebels for the first time.

“From our side, there are more than 50 [dead],” the prime minister of the rebels' self-styled Donetsk People's Republic, Alexander Borodai, told Reuters at the hospital.

Obama congratulates Poroshenko

The fighting for control of the industrial city erupted just hours after President-elect Petro Poroshenko celebrated victory in Sunday's presidential polls and vowed to defeat the armed separatists militarily. 

On Tuesday, President Barack Obama telephoned Poroshenko to congratulate him on his election win.
 
The White House said Obama offered "the full support of the United States" in moving the country forward.

Obama and Poroshenko will reportedly meet in Europe next week but no venue has yet been announced.

Calls for dialogue

Russia called for an immediate halt to Ukrainian military operations in the east, and a "peaceful dialogue."
 
In response, Ukraine's First Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Yarema said the military push will continue until "not a single terrorist remains on the territory of Ukraine."

Voicing alarm about continuing violence in Ukraine, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and is urging the Kyiv government to use "exclusively peaceful means" to regain control of the country's troubled east.
 
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said Tuesday it had lost contact with four of its civilian monitors who were detained at a checkpoint near Donetsk.  
 
OSCE spokesman Michael Bociurkiw told reporters Tuesday that the officials were traveling between cities in eastern Ukraine when they dropped out of contact.
 
Last month, seven OSCE monitors and their Ukrainian assistants were seized by separatists near the nearby city of Slovyansk.  They were released unharmed about two weeks later.

Some reporting by Reuters

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Igor from: Russia
June 01, 2014 9:23 PM
To D j from: uk
First, Only Ukrainians have been killing themselves because some have eaten the bait of the West.
Second, Russia never steals any territory from Ukraine. Russia has only taken back its territory which was robbed from Russia by an Ukarinian Soviet leader against the will of the people of Crimea. I think it is the West which are real hypocrites. Look at what they have left behind Iraq, Lybia, Afganistan, Syria, Vietnam.....with millions of their victims.


by: Vovan from: Ukraine
May 29, 2014 10:07 AM
Among destroyed during a fight for air-port of Donetsk on May, 26 hits were already known 33 gangsters from Russia. About it declared one of leaders of terrorists Oleksandr Boroday, write RIA of "Novosti". "The all lost is known. On Thursday we from a morgue send 33 men to relatives. We have contacts with all relatives", - he said. As known, on May, 26 forces of ATO conducted an operation from a release from the terrorists of air-port "Donetsk".


by: Igor from: Russia
May 28, 2014 2:05 AM
Mr. Obama, you congratulated Poroshenko for killing his own people including civilians by tanks, airfighters and helicopters? Are you still instigating violence and the use of force against civilians in the East? Russian patience is limited. If those in power in Kiev do not stop commiting crimes against humanity, their force will be destroyed without mercy.

In Response

by: D j from: uk
May 31, 2014 1:23 PM
Why not, after all Russia has been killing Ukrainians for a couple of weeks as well as stealing their territory. As Russia supports the use of overwhelming force in Syria (helicopters, gas, petrol bombs etc) i am sure that in the name of fairness the west can now support the legally elected and non facist president of Ukraine. Hypocrisy Russian style


by: meanbill from: USA
May 27, 2014 11:20 PM
ONE victory, in one battle for the Donetsk airfield will not win the war -- (and will it be a blessing or a millstone around the Ukraine military necks?) -- will it force the Ukraine troops to stay and defend it, and lose the mobility to fight the pro-Russian forces elsewhere? --- (Is it a symbolic or a strategic victory, and will it change the outcome of the war? -- "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu?)..

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