Ukraine Retakes Airport, After Airstrikes And Dozens Of Deaths

A pro-Russian fighter takes position behind a car as a truck full of rebel fighters heads toward a battle with Ukrainian forces near the airport in Donetsk Monday. The rebels say more than 30 of their number were killed in the violence. Fabio Bucciarelli/AFP/Getty Images

A pro-Russian fighter takes position behind a car as a truck full of rebel fighters heads toward a battle with Ukrainian forces near the airport in Donetsk Monday. The rebels say more than 30 of their number were killed in the violence. Fabio Bucciarelli/AFP/Getty Images

Pro-Russian rebels who had taken over an international airport in Donetsk have been pushed back, Ukraine’s government says. Violent clashes erupted Monday and Tuesday; at least 35 people have died.

From Kiev, NPR’s Peter Kenyon reports for our Newscast unit:

“The battle for Donetsk airport appears to symbolize the government’s tougher stance on the pro-Russian insurgents in the east. Using fighter jets and helicopter gunships, the military says it has retaken control of the airport, though rebels dispute that claim.

“Rebel accounts say dozens have been killed, saying a truck carrying wounded fighters was hit.”

The violence seems to have centered on the airport but also included several other parts of Donetsk. The city’s hockey arena was set on fire, and fighting also focused on a railway station. There are conflicting accounts of the number of people killed or wounded.

Donetsk mayor Oleksandr Lukyanchenko is being quoted by several media outlets saying that 38 fighters and two civilians have died in the violence at the airport. But the Kyiv Post says 33 were killed, citing an investigator at a morgue. Reuters reports that a rebel leader told the agency, “From our side, there are more than 50 (dead).”

Government forces targeted the pro-Russian separatists at the airport one day after Ukraine held national elections. On Monday, presumed president-elect Petro Poroshenko compared the insurgents to Somali pirates. And he said that Ukraine’s “anti-terrorist operation will not and cannot last for months, it will last just for hours.”

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin spoke about the crisis Tuesday, as reporter Jessica Golloher tells us from Kiev.

“Putin called for an immediate halt to Ukraine’s military campaign against pro-Russian insurgents in the country’s east,” Golloher says. “The Kremlin is quoting Putin as telling Italy’s prime minister that discussions between Kiev’s new government and representatives from eastern regions will help the crisis.”

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.image
Read original article – Published May 27, 2014 7:52 AM ET
Ukraine Retakes Airport, After Airstrikes And Dozens Of Deaths

Recent headlines

  • dollar bill money macro

    Per diems driving special session costs

    Lawmakers who represent areas outside Juneau receive $295 for each day of the special session. Juneau lawmakers receive $221.25 per day.
  • Caroline Hoover proudly pins an Alaska Territorial Guard medal on the front of her father's parka during an official discharge ceremony held Oct. 17 in Kipnuk, Alaska. David Martin is one of three surviving members of the Alaska Territorial Guard's Kipnuk unit. A total of 59 residents of Kipnuk, who volunteered to defend Alaska in the event of a Japanese invasion during World War II, were recognized during the ceremony. Kipnuk residents who served with the Alaska Territorial Guard from 1942-1947 were members of a U.S. Army component organized in response to attacks by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor. (Photo by Jerry Walton, Department of Military and Veterans Affairs cultural resource manager and native liaison/public domain/Wikimedia Commons)

    16 Alaska Territorial Guard vets to be honored in Anchorage

    Sixteen veterans of the Alaska Territorial Guard will be honored at a discharge ceremony today. Four of them are from Western Alaska.
  • Don Andrew Roguska looks out from an upstairs window of an historic Juneau house he bought in 2016 to restore. Zoning regulations have prevented him from rebuilding in the same style. (Photo by Jacob Resneck/KTOO)

    Juneau mulls relaxing zoning rules for historic houses

    The historic houses in Juneau and Douglas were predominately built by miners and fishermen long before today's zoning was put into place. That's prevented homeowners from restoring or rebuilding homes in these neighborhoods without running into conflict with the city's zoning laws -- a temporary fix may be on the way.
  • Young joins Afghanistan war skeptics in Congress

    Alaska U.S. Rep. Don Young wants to know why Americans are still fighting in Afghanistan. He has co-sponsored a bill that would end funding for the war in a year, unless the president and Congress affirm the need for it.
X