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Donetsk says provocations follow Poroshenko’s pledge to recapture airport

May 14, 2015, 19:09 UTC+3 MOSCOW
On May 11, Ukraine’s presidential press service published Poroshenko’s statement sayin Kiev intends to recapture the Donetsk airport from east Ukraine militia forces
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Ukrainian soldier

Ukrainian soldier

© EPA/TASS/ANASTASIA VLASOVA

MOSCOW, May 14. /TASS/. More provocations from Ukrainian troops are being reported around the Donetsk airport after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced plans to seize the Donetsk airport, Eduard Basurin, a spokesman for the defense ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said on Thursday.

"Following Poroshenko’s pronouncements, provocations have become more frequent, shelling of Gorlovka resumed after a lull since February. Poroshenko’s words [about seizing the airport] are meant to continue escalation," the spokesman told the Rossiya-24 television channel.

On May 11, Ukraine’s president announced plans to take the Donetsk airport under Kiev’s control. "I do not doubt that we will free the airport because it is our land. And we will restore the airport," Poroshenko said.

Kiev forces controlled Donetsk airport terminals for several months, shelling the city’s suburbs from their positions. In January, DPR authorities said that the self-defence forces gained full control over the airport. Ukrainian forces made several attempts to recapture their positions. The DPR defence ministry said around 600 Ukrainian military had been killed or injured during the armed stand-off around the airport.

A peace deal struck on February 12 in Minsk, Belarus, by the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France envisaged a ceasefire between Ukrainian forces and people’s militias starting from February 15, followed by withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of military engagement and prisoner release.

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