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MOSCOW, May 26. /ITAR-TASS/. People’s militia of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) brought down two helicopters of Ukraine’s Armed Forces in combat operations near the international airport of Donetsk, the chairman of the presidium of the DNR Supreme Council, Denis Pushilin, told Rossiya 24 television on Monday.
“Earlier, the leadership of the republic made the decision to assume control over the airport,” he said. “This was done after Kiev had launched a punitive operation in the southeast of Ukraine and began to increasingly often use the airport for delivering military cargoes as well as manpower for military units and combat formations under its control,” he said.
Overnight to Monday, representatives from the self-proclaimed republic arrived at the airport “demanding the withdrawal from its territory of Ukrainian military guarding the inner perimeter,” he said. After the sides had failed to settle the conflict peacefully, an exchange of fire came that later erupted into a major armed clash.
The Kiev-controlled units made an attempt to restore control over the airport, using helicopters as well as assault aircraft in the operation. The fight for the airport continued throughout the day, after which the people’s militia regained control over the international airport.