Ukraine Launches Strike Against Gunmen at Donetsk Airport

World Today

Ukraine has launched an assault to clear paramilitary fighters from a major regional airport in Donetsk, just one day after the country’s presidential election. Armed militia have seized the airport, grounding flights and forcing it to close.

Newly-elected president Petro Poroshenko said he refuses to negotiate with armed separatists, calling them “bandits.” CCTV’s Stephanie Freid reports from Donetsk.

Follow Stephanie Freid on Twitter@stefanella

Ukraine Launches Strike Against Gunmen at Donetsk Airport

Ukraine Launches Strike Against Gunmen at Donetsk Airport

Ukraine has launched an assault to clear paramilitary fighters from a major regional airport in Donetsk, just one day after the country's presidential election. Armed militia have seized the airport, grounding flights and forcing it to close. The newly-elected president said he refuses to negotiate with armed separatists, calling them "bandits." CCTV's Stephanie Freid reports from Donetsk.
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The violence comes on the heels of Ukraine’s presidential election. Billionaire Petro Poroshenko has already promised to negotiate an end to the conflict. Yet amid ongoing clashes in the East, especially in the Donbass region, the big question remains: can Poroshenko help heal the country’s wounds? CCTV’s Roee Ruttenberg reports from Kiev.

Follow Roee Ruttenberg on Twitter@RoeeRuttenberg

Ukraine: New President-Elect Says Peace Is Top Priority

Ukraine: New President-Elect Says Peace Is Top Priority

The violence comes on the heels of Ukraine's presidential election. Billionaire Petro Poroshenko has already promised to negotiate an end to the conflict. Yet amid ongoing clashes in the East, especially in the Donbass region, the big question remains: can Poroshenko help heal the country's wounds? CCTV's Roee Ruttenberg reports from Kiev.
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Meanwhile, Russia’s government says it’s open to talking with Ukraine’s new president-elect. However, the demands from Moscow that operations against separatists in eastern Ukraine must stop conflict with the Ukrainian president’s comments. CCTV’s Moscow correspondent Tom Barton reports.

Follow Tom Barton on Twitter@TomBartonJourno

Ukraine: Russia Pledges to Speak With President-Elect

Ukraine: Russia Pledges to Speak With President-Elect

Meanwhile, Russia's government says it's open to talking with Ukraine's new president-elect, Petro Poroshenko. However, Moscow's demands that operations against separatists in eastern Ukraine must stop are already conflicting with the new Ukrainian president's comments. CCTV's Moscow correspondent Tom Barton reports.
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According to reports, at 03:00 Monday, dozens of armed pro-independence supporters stormed the Donetsk Sergey Prokofiev International Airport, demanding the Ukraine’s army to leave.

Reinforcements of the Ukrainian army, then arrived at the biggest airport in east Ukraine.

Airport authorities closed the airport at 07:00 to all flights as sources suggest the armed activists had took over the terminal building.

The airport’s spokesperson confirmed that the Ukrainian army is surrounding the runway and the armed activists are inside the terminal building, but he insisted that the status of the airport has not changed.

“The airport status is as it has always been. Control of the airport has not changed. It has been under the control of the Donetsk Regional Council and it remains under Donetsk Regional Council control. There is no such saying as the airport’s status is changed,” said Dimitri Kosevnov, Donetsk Airport Spokesperson.

According to Ukraine’s Central Election Commission, Donetsk’s armed militias prevented the opening of most polling stations on Sunday, Ukraine’s presidential election day.


Voting was virtually non-existent in Donetsk, which has been plunged into recent chaos following anti-government protests this week.

On the same day, more than 1,000 pro-independence supporters — many of them want union with Russia — gathered outside Ukraine’s richest man Rinat Akhmetov’s home in Donetsk, calling him a traitor for his public stand on national reform.

The Ukrainian presidential election was held three months after former President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted in February amid widespread protests.

Armed pro-independence supporters in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions established “people’s republics” in early April and held referendums on their future status on May 11, but Ukraine’s interim government has called it illegitimate.

Report compiled with information from The Associated Press.