Clashes at Donetsk Airport as Military Aims to Blockade Rebel City

Three Ukraine Soldiers Killed, 27 Wounded in Fighting

As Ukrainian troops continue to set up a cordon around the rebel-held city of Donetsk, fighting erupted today at the airport, where military forces aimed to fend off a rebel attempt to retake it.

Donetsk has nearly one million residents, though Ukraine reported tens of thousands of civilians had been evacuated, and that more could follow, as they aim to surround the remaining rebels.

Protests erupted across the east in the wake of the pro-EU regime change in Kiev, and a military crackdown fueled an outright rebellion among the region’s mostly ethnic Russian residents. Donetsk and Luhansk are the last remaining major rebel cities, as Ukraine sends troops and tanks into the region, and promises to retake it militarily.

Though the situation is looking grim, particularly in Donetsk, the rebel commanders there continue to say they have no intention of giving in to government demands for a unilateral surrender. Even as Donetsk is surrounded by blockading troops, the rebels within are digging in to try to keep them out.
Fighting elsewhere in the region continues, and Ukraine reported three soldiers killed in the past 24 hours, with another 27 wounded.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.