Fighting rages anew at Ukraine airport

2015-01-17 20:37
People pack bags after receiving humanitarian aid in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk. (Alexey Kravtsov, AFP)

People pack bags after receiving humanitarian aid in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk. (Alexey Kravtsov, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kiev - Fighting raged on Saturday at the main airport of Ukraine's city of Donetsk as separatists resumed attempts to break the tenuous grip of government forces on the complex and Kiev's military said three more Ukrainian soldiers had been killed.

With attempts to restart peace talks stalled, pro-Russian rebels have stepped up shelling attacks to break the resistance of government troops dug in at the airport, itself a wrecked hulk battered by months of war.

Though its runways are cratered and it has long ceased to function, the airport has symbolic value for both sides and has become the main flashpoint in the fighting as prospects for fresh peace talks have dimmed.

A planned meeting of representatives from Ukraine, Russia and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and separatist leaders on the Ukraine crisis failed to materialise in the Belarussian capital Minsk on Friday.

A meeting of the so-called 'contact group' is seen as vital for getting the warring parties to observe a real ceasefire.

"In the past 24 hours three Ukrainian service personnel have been killed and 18 wounded. Yesterday evening we succeeded in evacuating the wounded from the airport," military spokesperson Andriy Lysenko said.

Separatists were concentrating their fire on Saturday on the airport's new terminal and its weather station.

"Our forces are repelling the attacks of the terrorists. The fighting is heavy. Firing is going on all the time. The situation remains under control but the adversary is not letting up in its attacks to seize this strategic target," Lysenko said.

The heavy fighting is in spite of a 12-point peace blueprint mapped out in Minsk in early September which called for a ceasefire in the nine-month conflict in which more than 4 800 people have been killed, according to World Health Organisation.

Lysenko accused Russia of maintaining a threatening military presence near the border with Ukraine which he said included all types of powerful weapons including Smerch and Uragan rocket launchers.

Read more on:    russia  |  ukraine

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
7 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.