Ukrainian army lost part of Donetsk airport after artillery bombardment of pro-Russian fighters

 
Ukraine / Russia conflict
 
 
Ukrainian army lost part of Donetsk airport after artillery bombardment of pro-Russian fighters.
The Ukrainian army has lost part of Donetsk airport Wednesday, January 14, 2015, after four days of intense artillery bombardment from advancing pro-Russian fighters, according to reports from the Ukrainian Independent Information Agency (UNIAN), citing Hromadske TV, a Ukrainian television channel.
     
The Ukrainian army has lost part of Donetsk airport Wednesday, January 14, 2015, after four days of intense artillery bombardment from advancing pro-Russian fighters, according to reports from the Ukrainian Independent Information Agency (UNIAN), citing Hromadske TV, a Ukrainian television channel. The Donetsk airport was bombarded with artillery of the pro-Russian fighters
     

Ukrainian artillery support was able to slow the rebels' advance Tuesday, keeping them within 450 yards of the airport's newest terminal, but fresh bombardment overnight has allowed separatist fighters access to one-third of the terminal where intense fighting has continued.

A soldier of the 80th Airmobile Brigade told the Ukrainian TV channel that two posts in the terminal were destroyed by Russian tanks, while another was purposefully blown up by Ukrainian fighters to create a barrier. "The area is lost," the soldier talking to Hromadske.tv said. "There must be a thorough fight back to secure the positions where the Russians are: the old terminal, the [monastery] and other positions."

Donetsk airport has been the epicenter of fighting in the region, despite a ceasefire being signed in September. On Tuesday the air traffic control tower, which was a symbol of the fight over the airport, was destroyed prior to the pro-Russian advance overnight, according to UNIAN. The Ukrainian military was able to support soldiers trapped in the airport with artillery fire, but that offered only a brief respite as the rebels attacked from two sides in a flanking maneuver.

As the separatists moved to within 450 yards of the airport Tuesday, the Ukrainian military was offered a 5 p.m. ultimatum to vacate the airport. The deadline came and went as rebels advanced inside the terminal.

 

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