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Daily Mail – by JULIAN ROBINSON and WILL STEWART
Up to 100 people, including civilians and pro-Russian fighters, have been killed during a 24-hour bloodbath in the eastern Ukraine city of Donetsk.
Dozens of militants were reported dead in a furious battle for control of the airport in the key city of Donetsk where bodies were lying in the streets.
Pro-Moscow rebels said they may have up to 100 dead as morgues in the city struggled to cope with the shocking death toll. Other estimates put the death toll at closer to 50.
A heavily armed pro-Russian rebel mans a newly erected barricade on the airport road. More than 50 insurgents were killed in an unprecedented assault by Ukrainian government forces
A Pro-Russian militia man walks at a check point on a road leading to the airport, in Donetsk just hours after violence had broken out in the area
A resident picks up a balaclava that belonged to a pro-Russian gunman, killed in gunfights with Ukrainian government forces. Gunshots were heard in to the night in and around the airport
People carry sand bags to set up a shooting position as a pro-Russian gunman watches on the road leading from the the airport
A wall of sand bags is stacked up to create a shooting position after a night of bloodshed in Donetsk
Violence erupted on Monday when rebels moved to seize the city airport and were repelled by Ukraine forces which used combat jets and helicopter gunships.
It came as the Kiev government sought to wipe out pro-Russian insurgents amid claims of Stalinist-style executions of rebel deserters.
In chilling scenes, there were claims several rebel commanders had been ‘sentenced to death by shooting’ with notices saying the ‘executions’ were conducted under a law enacted by Stalin’s Supreme Soviet during the Second World War.
An order from the separatist militia in Donetsk claimed that ‘commanders’ Dmitry Slavov and Nikolay Lukyanov had been executed by a shot to the head.
Two other officers of Gorkovka police were also ‘shot dead in front of all other policemen for betraying Donetsk Republic’, it was reported.
The orders to execute were signed by Igor Strelkov, real surname Girkin, who is claimed by the Ukrainians to be a Russian career intelligence officer.
The rebel commanders were accused of “abandonment of combat positions” under a Stalin law dated 22 June 1941.
Journalists witnessed sustained intensive gun fire throughout the day and into the night. Plumes of black smoke rose in the air.
Officials closed the airport, and police shut nearby streets for traffic.
‘From our side, there are more than 50 (dead),’ the prime minister of the rebels’ self-styled Donetsk People’s Republic, Alexander Borodai, told reporters from hospital.’
Another official Denis Pushilin said the figure was likely to reach 100, half of them civilians, with dozens more wounded.
Deputy premier Vitaly Yarema said the ‘anti-terrorist operation’ in eastern Ukraine will go on ‘until all the militants are annihilated.’
Wreckage: A local man holds his hand to his mouth as he looks at the ruined remains of a truck on a road leading to the Donetsk International Airport
The body of a pro-Russian gunman killed in clashes with the government forces around the airport lies on a stretcher at the morgue in Donetsk
The body of a pro-Russian gunman killed during clashes lies on the pavement outside the morgue in Donetsk
An elderly couple survey the scene of a wrecked truck, destroyed during fighting that has so far claimed the lives of at least 50 people, the majority of them pro-Russian fighters
Ukraine used air strikes and a paratrooper assault on Monday to clear rebels from Donetsk’s international airport and had pushed the separatists out of the complex by the end of the day.
‘The (separatist) fighters who had been in the terminal have been eliminated,’ a spokesman for the government’s ‘anti-terrorist operation’ said, indicating the airport was now under control of government forces.
But shooting continued through the night and by mid-morning machine gun fire could be heard on one of the main roads leading to the airport.
On Tuesday, Arsen Avakov, the interior minsiter, said the airport was ‘completely under control’, adding ‘The adversary suffered heavy losses. We have no losses.’
But it was plain that Kiev was struggling for control despite a heavy use of force.
The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe said it had lost contact with a four-member team in Donetsk after they were held at a checkpoint.
Miners went on strike against the military operation by the Kiev authorities, while in the war zone of Slavyansk there were calls to evacuate children from the carnage.
A boy walks by as firefighters attempt to extinguish a fire at the ice hockey arena ‘Druzhba’ in Donetsk, today. An armed group broke into the stadium in the early hours of May 27, set it on fire and left taking along some property of the stadium with them, it has been claimed
The gutted shell of the city’s ice hockey arena after an unidentified gang stormed in to t he building and set it ablaze this morning. The ice hockey arena belongs to Ukrainian lawmaker Boris Kolesnikov
A woman surveys the shell of a burnt out building destroyed during Monday’s violence near the Donetsk airport
But Vitaly Yarema, the first deputy prime minister, added: ‘We’ll continue the anti-terrorist operation until not a single terrorist remains on the territory of Ukraine.’
In the city itself, a four-storey hockey stadium was set ablaze, though firefighters now have the blaze under control.
A Kamaz truck of the type rebels use to ferry their fighters was wrecked on the airport road, covered in blood and completely riddled with bullet holes.
Blood had spattered across the entire roadway and even reached a billboard seven metres above.
Outside the city centre, another Kamaz was flipped over, its deck covered in blood.
The Kremlin said today that President Vladimir Putin called for an end to the military campaign and for dialogue between Kiev and the separatists. Mr Putin was speaking in a telephone call with Italy’s prime minister, his first reported comments on Ukraine since Sunday’s election.
The battle came just as billionaire candy magnate Petro Poroshenko claimed victory in Sunday’s presidential vote.
On the run: Journalists flee from the fighting outside the airport amid tensions unseen since the Cold War
Caught in the crossfire: A civilian was forced to run for cover amid fighting near the airport
Strike: A Ukrainian helicopter Mi-24 gunship fires its cannons against rebels at the main terminal of Donetsk airport. Pro-Russian rebels descended on the area, leading to a battle lasting several hours
Injury: Pro-Russians helped a fellow fighter into the back of a car after he was hurt near Donetsk airport
An elderly woman left for dead on the ground after being shot in the head in Donetsky on Monday
Killed: The fighting was not limited to Donetsk airport. In the eastern city of Slovyansk, 60-year-old Olga Prokhorenko lay dead by the roadside (pictured) after being hit by shrapnel. She was attended to by medics
Grief: A woman in the city of Slovyansk after seeing the body of her neighbour, a civilian killed by shrapnel
Poroshenko has vowed to negotiate a peaceful end to an insurgency in the east, where rebels have seized government offices and fought Ukrainian troops for more than a month.
Yet Poroshenko described the separatists as ‘Somali pirates,’ saying that arms should be used against ‘killers and terrorists,’ but he also indicated that he wants a quick end to the military operation in the east.
‘The anti-terrorist operation cannot and should not last two or three months,’ he said.
‘It should and will last hours.’
Poroshenko, known for his pragmatism, supports building strong ties with Europe but also has stressed the importance of mending relations with Moscow.
Upon claiming victory, he said his first step as president would be to visit the east.
He said he hoped Russia would support his efforts to bring stability and that he wanted to hold talks with Moscow.
Russia welcomed his intention to engage in talks with people in the east and said it would be ready to work with Poroshenko.
Death: Citizens react as they see the lifeless body of a man killed by shrapnel following a shelling from Ukrainian government forces in Slovyansk
Bleak: A man killed by shrapnel in the eastern city of Slovyansk. The clashes have claimed several lives
A man uses a tool to clear damage at a bakery which sustained damage during fighting in Slavyansk
Flowers lie on the ground among broken glass as an elderly woman sits on a bench in the wake of fierce fighting in Slavyansk
A woman wipes away tears after a night of bloodshed following combat involving pro-Russia separatists and Ukraine troops
Two women embrace after a night of violence in Ukrainian city of Slavyansk
Russia has denied accusations by the Ukrainian interim government and the West that it has fomented the insurgency in the east.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has stonewalled the insurgents’ appeal to join Russia and welcomed the Ukrainian presidential election in an apparent bid to de-escalate tensions with the West, which has plunged to a post-Cold War low after Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
But Russia has kept pushing for Ukraine to decentralize its government, which would give more power to regions, including those in the east, and wants Kiev to withdraw its troops from the area.
4 thoughts on “Caught in the crossfire: Civilians among dozens killed in Donetsk as fighting continues across city and Ukraine vows to fight until ‘not a single terrorist remains’”
So much propaganda in this it is hard to know where to start.
I am not naive about RT.com.
However, you need to check their
website about this battle(and civilian deaths)
that happened at Donetsk airport yesterday.
Reuters is using photos and videos from their
reporting on site. It is not propaganda.
Can you hear the shiesters chorcling and laughing with glee at the fighting going on in the Ukraine? The Jewish Communists are reestablishing their parasitism in central Ukraine as the jump off for expansion to push the Western Bank backed Soviets from Tel Aviv. Christians killing Christians is the preferred situation for the filth behind the scenes. Vote with your wallet and buy more ammo ASAP.