Gunfire, Blasts As Donetsk Airport Becomes Scene Of Heavy Fighting
Published 26 May 2014
Heavy fighting broke out on May 26 at the international airport in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, a major foothold for pro-Russian separatists. After reports early in the day said gunmen had stormed the airport and forced its closure, Ukrainian troops rushed to the scene. Explosions and gunfire erupted, sending smoke into the skies as the fighting continued. Fighter aircraft were also deployed to the scene. With the battle still raging, AFP reported that Ukrainian security forces had attacked after a deadline to the separatist occupiers expired.
Pro-Russian separatists of the self-proclaimed "Vostok Battalion" preparing to board a truck at a checkpoint on the outskirts of the city of Donetsk on May 25.
Pro-Russian separatists said to be from the self-proclaimed "Vostok Battalion" cheered on their comrades aboard a truck at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Donetsk on election day, one day before the airport fighting.
A military truck with heavily armed pro-Russian militants drives through a police checkpoint toward the airport of the eastern city of Donetsk.
Pro-Russian militants patrolling Donetsk's international airport early on May 26, before the heavy fighting erupted.
A pro-Russian militant takes up a position atop the Donetsk airport's roof.
The militants set up a mortar launcher atop Donetsk's international airport.
The terminal of Donetsk international airport is seen behind a cemetery.
Pro-Russian militants on the roof of the airport.
A separatist gunman takes up a position inside the airport ahead of the heaviest fighting.
Smoke rises from Donetsk's international airport during heavy fighting between Ukrainian and pro-Russian forces on May 26.
Smoke rises through a cemetery over the Donetsk airport during fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists.
Smoke billows from Donetsk airport during heavy fighting between Ukrainian and pro-Russian forces.
A Ukrainian Mi-24 helicopter gunship fires its cannons at rebels at the main terminal building of Donetsk's international airport on May 26.