18:27 May. 26, 2016
Battle for Donetsk Airport made it into history as one of the key ones in the ongoing war in eastern Ukraine
On May 26, 2014, the first fighting between the Ukrainian government forces and the Russian-backed separatists took place at Donetsk International Airport.
Read also UT special project Cyborgs vs Kremlin
With the help from the local officer of Ukraine's State Security Service, the militants of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) managed to take control of the building without a fight.
Although, already in a few hours the separatists were forced to leave because of the arrival of the Ukrainian special forces. Backed by aviation, they stormed the airport complex and completely routed the militants. Within a few hours, Donetsk International Airport was back in Ukrainian hands. The Russian-separatist side had suffered massive losses, which was confirmed by the DNR commanders. However, according to them civilians were also among the killed.
The battle was hailed as one of the biggest military success in Ukraine's efforts to combat the Russian-orchestrated uprising in the country's east.
The defenders of the Donetsk International Airport were named cyborgs for their seemingly superhuman abilities.
Troops from the 3rd Special Forces Regiment of Kirovohrad were considered the backbone of the Airport defence that lasted for 242 days. The members of the regiment actively participated in the first fight for the airport - the military operation that became the beginning of a long and bloody battle for the facility.