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Battles underway on Donetsk outskirts

May 26, 2014, 15:21 UTC+3 DONETSK
Two fighter planes were seen in the sky over the area and three helicopters flew in the airport’s direction
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DONETSK, May 26. /ITAR-TASS/. Explosions were heard in the area of Donetsk’s Sergey Prokofiev international airport on Monday, a spokesman for people’s militia told ITAR-TASS, adding that a pencil of smoke was rising over the runway.

The spokesmen said first intensive fire was heard in the area of the airport with large calibre weapons apparently being used. Two fighter planes were seen in the sky over the area and three helicopters flew in the airport’s direction.

Earlier on Monday, sources in people’s militia told ITAR-TASS that representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic were holding negotiations in the building of the Donetsk airport over the withdrawal of troops that keep the runway under control.

The speaker of the self-proclaimed republic’s legislature, Denis Pushilin, said the operation of the airport had been suspended.

“Until today, the airport was beyond our control. Some unclear cargoes and even mercenaries had been brought to our territory. We believe this is very wrong,” Pushilin said.

Earlier on Monday, the airport’s press-service said that Donetsk’s airport had closed to flights after representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic had arrived in the area in the middle of last night at about 03:00 am local time to demand that the Ukrainian military guarding the internal perimeter of the airport should be pulled out.

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