How Zakharchenko occupied the airport in 30 minutes

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2015/01/16 • War in the Donbas

Kyiv – The leader of ‘DNR,’ a formation considered a terrorist group in Ukraine, Alexandr Zakharchenko stated this Thursday that 95 percent of the territory of the airport, the battle for which has lasted for many months now, were under the control of the separatists, and only about a dozen Ukrainian servicemen were still alive. However, the ATO headquarters denies this information, only confirming the fact that massive battles have lasted all through the day within the terminals. The ‘Cyborgs’ reported the wounded and dead, however, they assure that they are not retreating from their positions.

At daytime, the ATO headquarters claimed that Alexandr Zakharchenko had given orders to the mercenaries to take the Donetsk Airport by storm. Massive attack began next.

Advisor to the Minister of Defense Yury Biriukov, who is constantly in contact with the fighters within the airport, reported artillery shelling and short-range battles using sniper weaponry, which take place mostly in the new terminal of the airport. Most of it is currently under the ‘Cyborgs’ control, however the mercenaries could have reinforced their positions in certain areas.

Zakharchenko hastened to claim today that the entire territory of the airport would be occupied by the separatist within half an hour. However, the battle lasted well into the night. Zakharchenko’s claims were denied by ATO spokesman Andriy Lysenko.

“He reported yesterday that they had taken the airport. That everything was all right. Today they are ready to free it. Inconsistent, illogical, untrue, provocation – I cannot comment more,” stated Lysenko.

The OSCE mission failed to gain access to the airport due to the fighting

The ATO headquarters claimed on Thursday that there was a possibility that the mercenaries would attempt sabotage in light of the fact that the OSCE mission was to pay a visit to the airport. However, due to the tension, the observers failed to inspect the area.

“Today we had two attempt to enter the airport, but we never reached it. When we were on location, we gave our own evaluation as to the security level. We could hear gunshots, we are civilian mission, therefore the decision was made to return to our positions,” stated press attache Iryna Hudyma.

One of the volunteers aiding the fighters in the airport and maintaining communication with them throughout the day, Olexiy Mochanov, confirmed that Zakharchenko’s claims of having taken the airport were ungrounded. According to him, the ‘Cyborgs’ have six wounded and one dead.

Now the soldiers have to fight their way into the airport

The troops based in the village of Pisky near Donetsk managed to fight their way into the terminals and evacuate those who needed medical assistance. Commander of OUN battalion Mykola Kokhanivsky told Radio Liberty that Pisky was also under constant shelling. Here, artillery battles continue. Communication with the airport had not been interrupted. At the same time, as the servicemen noted, within the past few days they had noted that the separatists’ shelling had become much more precise, therefore they assume the possibility that the Russian army had come to aid them.

“The officers who work there say that the nature of the artillery fighting and aiming had changed. The separatists have never been so precise before, and they have a feeling that the artillerists have been replaced with professional Russians. The people in the combat zone find it obvious that the nature of the shelling and precision have changed, so there is a more professional unit there instead of the rebels,” Mochanov said.

The mercenaries attacked 35 Donbas localities on January 15.

Translated by: Mariya Shcherbinina
Source: Radio Liberty

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  • Mykola Banderachuk

    zakharchenko is a war criminal and traitor-should be hung from the nearest lamp post.

  • Dirk Smith

    Keep the Cargo 200 deliveries running on time!!

  • disqus60

    This is BS. These Putin thugs want to fight and kill. Period. If Ukraine had the ability, it should unleash full fury and destroy all these punks that are nothing but killers and criminals. Zak should be taken out. The constant attacks shows they have no intent to stop fighting and there will be only one way to stop them. There’s no way they can ever again live peacefully within Ukraine, so either kill them, or run them off to Russia where they want to be.

    • Czech Friend

      why are there no Ukrainian fighterjets or helicopters in action-too dangerous?
      And why does not NATO or any European country at least provide a training for Ukrainian army-would that help?

      West needs to stand up to Putin’s bully who as an agressor put himself into the role of an arbiter which is incredibly cheeky.

      • Brent

        I agree the West and NATO have not done enough to support Ukraine other than making ‘bold statements’. I also think Russia moved quite a bit of anti aircraft equipment in with the other military hardware. But I think Ukraine’s hands are kind of tied to use their air force at this time
        >if they do, this may provoke Russia into bringing their planes and helicopters into Donbas to counter them. Yes, they could no longer hide their involvement, but I’m sure they’ll still lie about it. I think an ‘air war’ with Russia could be devastating because Russia will win handily, but it also quickly expands the sphere of war to any Ukrainian city Russia feels it has the right to attack. Dnipropetrovsk will be a major target because it’s the strongest large city in proximity to Donbas.
        >Ukraine is being scrutinized by the OSCE, HRW and every other organization as to alleged ‘war crimes’. Sadly, anything the terrorists do seems to be ignored. The terrorists are still hiding within populated areas and using civilians and residential areas as shields. Imagine the uproar if Ukraine fires air to ground missiles into a civilian area. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to see civilians killed, but there clearly are two different sets of rules in play.

        BUT, I think if there is a full scale Russian invasion that moves out to try to take Mariupol or other rumored targets, then we’ll likely see Ukraine throw everything they’ve got at the terrorists. The more body bags sent back to Putintopia, the stronger the message will be to the Russian people as to the price for their aggression. I also think the key to defeating Russia’s terrorists will be to get them out in the open and out from civilian areas. Then, Ukraine can unleash everything they have at them.

  • RedGA

    A few things I’ve seen in this. Strelkov is updating his social media rapidly. This shows he is well keyed in on events going on along the front. This means him being in Moscow that this is well coordinated with people in Russia – COUNTER to the whole argument that Russia is not involved. Does this not matter to the media?

    The fact they are “taking the airport” means a full fledged confession publicly that they are violating the ceasefire. In order to take, it means aggressively moving forward. Does this blatant move and public admission/confession mean anything?

    Chechen Muslims are the ones fighting at the airport – does this not seem odd to the world? Putin talks tough and aggressive about Muslim extremists and how this is a Christian cause but yet he has hired Muslim mercenaries to fight someone else’s battles. Where are the “heroic stories of the NovoRossiya freedom fighters”? Why does that little imp Zakharchenko run around hiding behind hired thugs from other countries?

    Will someone shut that Lord Haw Haw propagandist Graham Phillips up? He calls himself a journalist but he is coordinating these scripted Hollywood products of propaganda and calls them news reports. And then has the audacity to mock those who call him out on this nonsense.

    We need some serious information warfare changes here. So many stories that could spin this back in the faces of Moscow.

    • Jim

      One of the Cyborgs suggested that Putin is taking advantage of the brutality of the situation by sending “undesirable elements” from Russia to fight against the Cyborgs. This is a win-win situation for Putin – either they take the airport or die trying. Putin is happy either way.

      • Alex

        Exactly! There are Chechens fighting in Ukraine. Fifteen years ago they used to behead Russian soldiers. Now Putin and Kadyrov are using them to kill innocent Ukrainians. It is a win-win situation for them.

    • Brent

      Putin is trying to use ‘foreign fighters’ as his newest cannon fodder because he is having trouble hiding the Cargo 200 and dead Russian soldiers. This is likely why he recently opened up the Russian army to admitting foreign fighters who speak Russian.

      I wasn’t aware of Graham Phillips until your posting. I found this really good expose on him, and his character is really questionable, with his involvement with prostitutes and what looks like his attempted playboy lifestyle with Ukrainian women. Clearly they must have seen him for the scumbag he is and he got rejected!!! He sounds like the ultimate ‘useful idiot’ that Russia loves to use up and I’m sure at some point they’ll chew him up and spit him. He sound like a typical ‘gloryhound’ that will step on anyone to make himself a legend…in his own mind. Hopefully, he ‘gets what he deserves’….

      http://www.buzzfeed.com/maxseddon/how-a-british-blogger-became-an-unlikely-star-of-the-ukraine#.ggpVwy60k

      • RedGA

        The Lord Haw Haw wannabe will get his comeuppance soon enough. The Russians and Chechens he hangs around make fun of him. He is the useful troll pet they keep around because he spreads their mindless propaganda. I guarantee the first chance they get they’d slit his throat.

        Agreed on the soldiers. A lot of those who already died had no clue what they were getting into. Seeing how the locals in the two areas are not stepping up to fight their own cause and the high Russian body count, Putin has to rethink his strategy. We will see more and more Uzbeks and Kazakhs in Donetsk and Lugansk very soon.

  • think

    What about that Hromadske interview with one of soldier claming they lost one third of the area they used to control in Donetsk Airport?
    After Ilovaisk I don’t trust ATO spokesmen.

  • dok

    I would not be heart broken if the airport fell to the russian swine. But the Ukraine president and army officials have to make it perfectly clear to Putin and the russian rebels that Ukraine will shell the airport with guided missiles 24/7 from today until the day that hell freezes over. There will never be a flight that ever takes off or lands at that airport again. And any planes approaching that airport will be considered enemy planes and will be shot down. It is time to stop fooling around with these russian terrorists and deal with them seriously.

    • David Porter

      There is no other way!!! ” It is time to stop fooling around with these russian terrorists and deal with them seriously.”

    • Brent

      Ukraine needs to make it clear it the Donbas airspace as a whole will be a ‘no fly’ zone and planes entering it will be treated as enemy combatants.

      The danger is Russia will likely use this to send in ‘supposed’ humanitarian aid transports or civilian fights and if Ukraine shoots them down, it may be a big propaganda coup for Russia. The best thing Ukraine can do is make sure the airport will not be usable while the DPR has any control over it. Bomb the runways and make sure they are not accessible.