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Kiev troops claim Donetsk airport still under their control

The press service of the headquarters of Kiev's military operation refutes reports of Ukrainian troops leaving the Donetsk international airport

KIEV, January 16. /TASS/. Kiev troops claimed on Friday that they still control the Donetsk international airport, despite earlier reports of Ukraine’s military withdrawal.

“The Donetsk airport is under control of Ukraine’s military. Relative calm has been seen here since 8 p.m. on January 15,” the press service of the headquarters of the military operation said.

In a conflicting statement earlier on Friday, the self-proclaimed Donetsk people’s republic said that the militia has taken the Donetsk airport and its vicinities under its control.

“Today we can say that we control the territory of the Donetsk airport and its vicinities,” a ministry spokesman was quoted by the official Donetsk news agency as saying.

The ministry said some 10 Ukrainian troops are still staying in the building of the new terminal of the airport, but they have stopped offering resistance and are expected to leave the airport through a corridor.

Donetsk republic’s chief negotiator Denis Pushilin said on Wednesday that the self-defence forces had opened up a corridor to the Ukrainian military’s withdrawal from the Donetsk airport.

Pushilin stressed that this is a “good will gesture” on the part of the DPR.

The Defense Ministry of the self-proclaimed republic said on Thursday Ukraine’s troops were abandoning their positions near the airport.