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Iran Press TV

Ukraine forces lose control of Donetsk airport

Iran Press TV

Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:21PM

The Ukrainian army says its troops have lost control of the main terminal of the Donetsk airport, which has been the scene of fierce clashes between pro-Russia fighters and Kiev's forces in recent weeks.

On Thursday, Vladyslav Seleznyov, a spokesman for the Ukrainian military, admitted that Kiev's troops had late on Wednesday decided to leave the airport's main building, which had been in their control since late May 2014.

Meanwhile, Ukraine's Azov regiment commander, Andriy Biletsky, admitted defeat on his Facebook page and wrote, "We lost the airport."

Ukrainian officials said fighting still continues between pro-Russia forces and government troops around the ruins of the Donetsk air hub.

The loss of the airport's main terminal is viewed as a major blow to Ukrainian forces.

The new development comes after at least 13 Ukrainians were killed and dozens injured as a trolleybus station came under shelling in the restive city Donetsk in Ukraine's east.

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry also announced that fighting near the Donetsk airport has left six Ukrainian servicemen dead and 16 others injured and captured over the past 24 hours.

Last September, the representatives of Ukraine, Russia, and the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk inked a ceasefire deal in the Belarusian capital, Minsk. The truce has been violated almost daily by both the Ukrainian military and pro-Russia forces in eastern Ukraine.

Donetsk and Lugansk, in eastern Ukraine and with mainly Russian-speaking populations, have been the scene of deadly clashes between pro-Russia protesters and the Ukrainian army since Kiev's military operation started in mid-April 2014 in a bid to crush the protests.

Violence intensified in May 2014 after the two flashpoint regions held local referendums in which their residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Ukraine and joining the Russian Federation.


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