UPDATE: Kiev Retakes Donetsk Airport; Over 45 Pro-Russians Dead in Donetsk
*UPDATE 11:35AM* Christopher Miller with Mashable and The Kyiv Post reports the Ukraine government claimed they took back the Donetsk airport from the pro-Russians. The two day fight left over 30 dead at the airport.
May 26 and 27 have been two of the deadliest days in the city of Donetsk, Ukraine’s second largest city in the east. The Kyiv Post sent three reporters to the area and doctors told them there were as many as 45 people dead, mostly pro-Russians, but at least one civilian.
*WARNING! GRAPHIC PICTURES*
Donetsk Mayor Oleksandr Lukyanchenko told the reporters there were 40 dead and an investigator inside the morgue said only 33. No matter the total it has been a bloody two days. From The Kyiv Post:
Numerous others were injured in fierce gun battles that took place on May 26 and May 27 as Ukraine's government tries to regain control of the oblast, home to 10 percent of Ukraine's population.
Many of the killed Russian-backed fighters were riding together in a truck when they were struck from above by artillery or rocket-propelled grenades from a Ukrainian army helicopter. The truck was destroyed and the truck bed contained pools of blood.
Other journalists were in Donetsk and tweeted pictures. *WARNING! GRAPHIC PICTURES*
Donetsk is located in Donetsk Oblast, which is Ukraine’s most populous oblast (county) with 10% of the population. The area, along with Luhansk Oblast, held a referendum on May 11 and the forces claimed 90% of the residents voted to form the Donetsk People’s Republic despite numerous voting violations.
Ukraine’s “Chocolate King” Petro Poroshenko won the presidential election on Sunday with over 50% of the vote. The pro-Russians, who claim to hate the "fascist" government in Kiev, refused to allow residents in Donetsk to vote. The soldiers smashed ballot boxes and used others as trashcans. On Monday, Poroshenko vowed to take a tough stand against the pro-Russian forces in the east and they answered by capturing the Donetsk airport and train station.