Poroshenko says three Ukraine troops killed at Donetsk airport

29th December 2014, Comments 0 comments

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Monday that his forces had lost three soldiers in battles with pro-Russian fighters for a disputed airport near the rebel stronghold of Donetsk.

"The battle for Donetsk airport ended 10 minutes ago," Poroshenko told an end-of-year press conference. "Donetsk airport remains under our full control. Unfortunately, the information about three dead has been confirmed."

The east Ukrainian airport has witnessed some of the heaviest fighting of the eight-month separatist war that broke out in April in some Russian-speaking regions in the wake of Kiev's shift towards Europe and away from Moscow.

A September 5 truce that was reinforced by another ceasefire agreement on December 9 has helped calm the heaviest fighting across the separatist regions of Lugansk and Donetsk.

But clashes around the airport have continued unabated. Kiev has reported the death of nearly 20 soldiers in the past three weeks.

The entire war has claimed the lives of about 4,700 people -- more than 1,300 of them dying since September 5.

© 2014 AFP

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