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Breathing spell sets in east Ukraine’s Donetsk

May 27, 2014, 10:24 UTC+3 DONETSK

Shooting at the airport where fighting had been on for the whole past day had subsided only by 23:00 GMT Monday

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DONETSK, May 27. /ITAR-TASS/. The current situation in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk is quite calm in these morning hours despite threats from Ukrainian law enforcers to resume the punitive operation at 4 a.m. local time (01:00 GMT) on Tuesday. Shooting at the airport where fighting had been on for the whole past day had subsided only by 23:00 GMT Monday. The Sergei Prokofyev international airport which serves the city of Donetsk and Donetsk Region as well as Zaporozhye, Luhansk and Kharkiv Regions is getting ready to resume operations.

People’s militia and Ukrainian national guards engaged in clashes at the Donetsk air harbor, which the second largest one in terms of passenger traffic and importance in all Ukraine. Overnight to Monday representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic came to the airport and demanded Ukrainian troops should leave the airport. After conflicting parties failed to settle the situation in the peaceful way they engaged in a shootout which grew in a major clash later. Kiev-controlled military forces attempted to regain control over the airport using helicopters and assault warplanes from the Mirgorod aviation brigade.

The battle for the airport has lasted for the whole day. Fighters were flying over the city, launching decoy flares, systems which are used in military aviation to counteract homing missiles. Snipers were shooting at militiamen and civilians. Militiamen were returning the fire on warplanes from portable air defense missile systems. Militiamen succeeded to down two Ukrainian helicopters and take the airport building under control, Chairman of the Donetsk Supreme Council presidium Denis Pushilin told TV channel Rossiya-24 on Monday evening.

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