Ukraine commemorates defenders of Donetsk airport

January 16, Ukraine marks the Day of Remembrance of Donetsk Airport Defenders.

The remembrance day was established on the initiative of Ukrainian soldiers who defended the Donetsk International Airport from Russian-led forces for 242 days.

The battle for the airport lasted from May 26, 2014 to January 22, 2015 and ended after the old and the new airport terminals had been destroyed completely. The volunteers and doctors also participated in the defense of the airport.

The Donetsk airport defenders were called “cyborgs” for their resilience and persistence. They became a symbol of courage and devotion to the ideals of free and independent Ukraine.

During this period, special forces of the 3rd separate regiment, fighters of the 79th, 80th, 81st, 95th separate airmobile and the 93d separate mechanized brigades, the 57th separate mechanized infantry brigades, the 90th separate airborne and the 74th separate reconnaissance battalion, fighters of the Dnipro-1 regiment, the Volunteer Ukrainian Corps and others were fighting in the Donetsk International Airport and the village of Pisky in Donetsk region.

January 18-21, 2015, fifty-eight cyborgs were killed after the invaders blasted the airport terminal. On January 21, the decision was approved to withdraw Ukrainian soldiers from the new terminal which was completely destroyed and unsuitable for defense.

More than 200 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and over 500 were injured in the battle for the Donetsk airport. Many of them received state awards, including posthumously.

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