Heavy Gunfire as Ukrainian Army Retakes Airport from Pro-Russian Forces

Heavy Gunfire as Ukrainian Army Retakes Airport from Pro-Russian Forces

The large anti-terrorist operation Ukrainian interim President Oleksandr Turchynov promised on Sunday is now taking place in east Ukraine. Tanks were spotted in the east early Tuesday morning.

Ukrainian soldiers marched into Kramatorsk, a town close to Sloviansk, where pro-Russian forces captured the airport on Monday. The Associated Press reported heavy gunfire at the airport at 11:21AM ET. AP’s Moscow correspondent Nataliya Vasilyeva said Russian media reported fights, injuries, and casualties at the airport, but journalists at the scene could not confirm anything. 

The AP reported the gunfire “appeared to have been warning shots into the air.” Journalists on the ground tweeted pictures of Ukrainian helicopters in the air and roads to the town.

20 minutes after AP’s tweet, Turchynov told parliament the Ukrainian army took the airport from the pro-Russian forces.

Espresso TV’s correspondent on the ground at Kramatorsk airfield in Donetsk Oblast reports that the elite Omega unit of the Interior Ministry has taken control of the airfield.

Citing the Defense Ministry, Interfax is reporting that Ukrainian armored personnel carriers stormed the airfield, which lies between the cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk. Ukrainian troops fired on pro-Russian terrorists who had occupied the airfield.

The mayor of Kramatorsk also confirmed the airport was in the hands of the Ukrainian army. 

Here are a few more pictures from Kramatorsk and Sloviansk.