The battle between Ukraine’s Armed Forces and militants of self-styled people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk for Donetsk International Airport started on May 26, 2014.
Russian-backed militants started the offensive on the airport at night of May 26. First battles for the airport were reported in the day of May 26. It has been established, that former member of Ukraine’s Security Serivce in Donetsk region has led the militants into the terminals of the airport. He was arrested shortly afterwards.
The airport’s defense operation lasted for 242 days.
Overall, at least 1,000 Ukrainian military took part in the defense operation. Just over the final week of the siege – January 14-21 – 20 Ukrainian soldiers were killed, trying to repel enemy’s attack.
Russian-backed militants shelled Donetsk airport with various weapons. Numerous attacks from prohibited weapons, including phosphorus munitions, were reported.
Ukrainian soldiers were forced out of the airport on January 21, 2015 admitting they lost control over the airport after atrocious battles. Under peace agreements, Donetsk airport is a demilitarized area, however, numerous attacks are constantly being reported in the area.