3 years on – How Russian Shells Destroyed Ukraine’s Donetsk City Airport

Recent Drone images show what’s left of Donetsk city airport. In 2014 and early 2015, Russian artillery simply reduced it to dust. The reason for this wanton obliteration of what was then a relatively new airport, was due to the remarkable bravery of the handful of Ukrainian soldiers defending it.

Much to Russia’s annoyance, for having fought on for so long and defied the best Putin’s forces could throw at them, the Ukrainian soldiers acquired the well deserved nickname of the “Cyborgs.” For months, both day and night, tank and infantry attacks were launched against them. For months Russian shells & rockets never stopped raining down on them. As you might expect from having viewed these pictures, many of the valiant defenders were killed and wounded.

Supplies and fresh troops had to be sent in via convoys along the runway from the nearby village of Pisky. With Russian forces positioned along the runway, this was one perilous journey.

In the end the soldiers long bloody sacrifice was not in vain. It stemmed the then relentless advance of Russia’s forces beyond the city of Donetsk and bought the Ukrainian army valuable time to regroup.

Donetsk airport
Main terminal buildings with occupied Donetsk city seen in the background.

Donetsk airport 3
Russia’s forces hold the airport buildings and Ukrainian positions are on the far right, just beyond the runway. Hence, no planes will be landing here any time soon.

Donetsk airport 2

Donetsk airport 1This shot gives you an appreciation of the horror Ukrainian soldiers went through in trying to hold the airport. Terminal buildings were mercilessly shelled day and night.

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