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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Ukraine: Fierce battles for Donetsk airport continue for the sixth day

Aerial view of the destroyed Donetsk airport
(Image: Army SOS)
Fierce battles for Donetsk International airport continue for the fifth day, after numerous massive attacks of the pro-Russian terrorists and Russian soldiers failed to take the airport. Saturday, 17 January, was marked by the massive attack of Ukrainian soldiers carried out in the city of Donetsk and aimed to open the "Road of Life" for the wounded fighters of Donetsk airport.

Despite the Minsk agreements Russians and rebels continue violating its terms and attacking Ukrainian positions in the airport and in the zone of an anti-terrorist operation, which has actually turned into a real war. Russia backed terrorists have been attacking Donetsk airport for the fifth day, using heavy weapons and artillery and shooting the positions of Ukrainian soldiers from their positions located in the separatist controlled Donetsk and some neighboring villages.

Saturday, 17 January, was marked by the new and stronger assaults of the terrorists against Ukrainian soldiers holding Donetsk airport. Ukrainian artillery supports the airport defenders, destroying some of the separatists' fire positions and reportedly leaving numerous dead and wounded on the enemy's side. Though the situation at the airport remains extremely tense and dangerous, with at least three Ukrainian soldiers killed and at least 23 soldiers wounded during the latest battles, that didn't stop even in the night.

One of the most massive and fiercest battles occured on Saturday near Donetsk airport, as Ukrainian soldiers, paratroopers and volunteers' batallions attempted to create the "Road of Life" for the airport defenders, moving forth into the city of Donetsk and leading the fight in the districts of the city, where the strongholds of the separatists and Russians are located. Their aim was to secure the safe exit for the wounded fighters of the airport.

Ukrainian tanks participated in the Saturday's battle near Donetsk
(Image: US Today)
Ten Ukrainian T-64 tanks made their way to the aerial navigation tower under the heavy fire of the enemy's artillery and Grad missiles, and then to the monastery, where the separatists had their stonghold in the city. The soldiers' task was to push the separatists and Russians back fron their positions next to the airport and to ensure the safe passage for the wounded Ukrainian fighters.

The tanks maneuvers were supported by the artillery and missiles, while the paratroopers were supported by the troops located in the city of Pisky close to Donetsk. Fighters of the Risgh Sector also participated in the battle actively supporting Ukrainian army.

As a result of the separatists' fire a factory in the neighboring Makiivka was set of fire, and at lest three factory workers got wounded.

The battle near the airport lasted for about two hours, and Ukrainian soldiers destroyed several strong positions and fortifications of an enemy. The glorious 93rd Brigade of Ukrainian Armed Forces managed to push the terrorists back from their positions and got into the city of Donetsk, moving for several kilometers onside of the city, controlled by the separatists and Russians, and clearing the territory around the airport. 10 Ukrainian soldiers were wounded during the battle, and the main task of creating the "Road of Life" was fulfilled. Situation at the airport remains tense, but evacuation of the wounded fighters has started. 

Meanwhile on Sunday, 18 January, Ukrainian soldiers fighting in Donetsk airport and in its area have received the orders of the commando to open massive fire on the terrorists and their positions. The battle continued during the day, while the evacuation of the wounded soldiers was organised. Ukrainian side has list three soldiers during the Saturday's fight fir the airport, while 31 soldiers were wounded. As for the terrorists' losses, at least 64 of them were reported to be killed.

Sunday was also marked by the fierce battles in the city of Mariupol, close to the city if Donetsk. Ukrainian army though continue holding and controlling the city. The positions at the airport are also under control of Ukraine, despite the fact that the situation remains tense.

European Union in its turn declared about the possible deepening and tightening the sanctions against Russia in case Russia will continue supporting the terrorists and destabilizing the situation in Eastern Ukraine. In addition to the currently imposed sanctions EU officials are discussing imposing sanctions in the nuclear and financial sector including the possibility of cutting Russian financial system from the SWIFT-system.