January 22, 2015

Retreat at Donetsk airport


As The Weekly went to press on January 22, there were several major developments in Ukraine.

• The Donetsk airport is completely destroyed and is not suitable for defense, thus a decision was made to withdraw Ukrainian servicemen from the new terminal, reported Andriy Lysenko, spokesman for the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO). “In the course of fighting, 16 Ukrainian servicemen were wounded and taken captive. The ATO forces are holding the fire station, the areas of the air control tower and of the runway that has been made unusable. Our military is confidently holding the reinforced positions at the localities of Avdiyivka and Pisky. In the last day 10 Ukrainian servicemen were killed in action, [and] 19 were wounded,” he said.

• The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine reported that intense battles in the area around the airport continue and that Ukrainian forces reinforced positions near Pisky. The Ministry of Defense reported that the most difficult situation was towards Debaltsevo, where Kremlin-backed terrorists continue shelling Ukrainian positions. Towards Mariupol, Kremlin-backed terrorists repeatedly shelled Ukrainian positions. Several media outlets showed video footage of Kremlin-backed terrorists forcibly parading captured Ukrainian soldiers in Donetsk.

• At least 13 civilians were killed in Donetsk aboard a bus and at a bus stop when it was hit by mortar shells. Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense said that the stricken area was 15 kilometers from the nearest government position and that the shells were likely launched from residential sections of the city, that is, from within rebel territory.