Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ukraine unrest: Dozens die as Donetsk airport 'retaken'

BBC News online -- 27 May 2014
The BBC's Mark Lowen witnessed the battle at Donetsk airport, and returned on Tuesday to examine the bloody aftermath
Ukraine's interior ministry says the military is now in full control of the airport in the eastern city of Donetsk after a day of bloody clashes.

At least 30 pro-Russia separatists were reported killed after an attempt to take over the airport early on Monday.

New President Petro Poroshenko vowed to tackle the eastern uprising within hours not months. Russia has called for an immediate end to military action.
Meanwhile, the OSCE says it has lost contact with a monitoring team.

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe said four of its monitors were on a routine mission east of Donetsk but had not been heard from since 18:00 (16:00 GMT) on Monday.
A spokesman told the BBC the monitors, all male, were Turkish, Swiss, Estonian and Danish.
Seven international military observers linked to the OSCE were held captive in eastern Ukraine in April for a week.

Pro-Russia militants, Donetsk airport, 26 May Pro-Russia militants tried to take over the airport early on Monday morning
Family sheltering from fighting in a building near Donetsk airport (26 May 2014) This family sought shelter inside a building near the airport as shots rang out
Residents build a sandbag shooting position on the road to the airport in Donetsk (27 May 2014) Pro-Russian locals helped build shooting positions on the road to the airport.
Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said in a statement on Tuesday: "The airport is under our full control. The enemy suffered heavy losses. We have none."
He said operations were still continuing. A BBC team there heard sporadic gunfire.
At the scene: Mark Lowen in Donetsk
The Kiev government was absolutely determined that the airport would not fall to the insurgents.
Back in February when pro-Russia separatists launched their incursion in Crimea - which led to Moscow's annexation of the peninsula a month later - the airport was the first key installation they took control of, so Kiev was committed to clamping down on that.
Ukraine's new president gave a speech on Monday saying he would not negotiate with "terrorists" as he put it - and clearly you see the impact of that around Donetsk airport.
A representative of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic told the BBC that reports of at least 30 dead in Monday's fighting were accurate.

Rebels said the men had been injured and were being transported to hospital when their truck came under fire from government troops.
Photographs from inside Donetsk morgue showed more than a dozen bodies in military fatigues piled in a small room.

The clashes started on Monday as separatist militants stormed the Sergei Prokofiev Donetsk airport in the early hours.
The Ukrainian military responded quickly with air strikes and an assault by heavily armed troops.
Pro-Russia militants, Donetsk airport, 26 May The separatists may have been trying to prevent a visit by the new president
Amateur footage showed Donetsk's ice arena after it was set on fire
The attempt to seize the airport may have been intended to prevent Mr Poroshenko from travelling there after he said his first trip would be to visit the restive east.
Mr Poroshenko, a 48-year-old billionaire and former foreign minister, was on Monday formally declared the winner of Sunday's presidential election with 54% of the vote.
He vowed east Ukraine would not be "turned into Somalia", adding: "The anti-terrorist operation cannot and should not last two or three months. It should and will last hours."
Petro Poroshenko: "We will fight for the trust of the people" of the east
However, he has also said he wants to talk to Russia to end the crisis.
Moscow had said it would accept the election results and engage in dialogue with the winner.
But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday: "The question of a visit to Russia by Poroshenko is not being considered and is not being discussed through diplomatic or any other channels."
He again called on Mr Poroshenko to stop military operations in eastern Ukraine immediately and implement a roadmap for peace negotiated in Geneva on 17 April.
Speaking at a news conference in Moscow, he said a "real war" was under way in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
The regions declared independence after Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula in the wake of the removal of Ukraine's pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovych.

Labels: , ,

Follow @rheytah Tweet