This is the moment DPR fighters patrol the battered Donetsk Airport during the anniversary of the first battle in 2014.
The People’s Militia of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said on 25th May: “Servicemen of the NM DPR defend the republic’s borders: Donetsk Airport.
“Servicemen of the People’s Militia adamantly stand in positions protecting the people of the DPR from the invasion of the occupying forces of Ukraine and give a proportional response to fire provocation.”
The following day, the militia said: “On the eve of the anniversary of the Ukrainian attack on the Donetsk airport, after which the life of the Donetsk people was divided into ‘before and after’, the fighters of the legendary Sparta battalion spoke about the storming of the airport.”
Following the 2014 ‘Revolution of Dignity’ in Ukraine, the First Battle of Donetsk Airport took place on 26th and 27th May between the DPR and Ukrainian government forces.
After a Ukrainian victory, the DPR retook the airport during the Second Battle of Donetsk Airport between 28th September 2014 and 21st January 2015.
Russian troops invaded Ukraine on 24th February in what the Kremlin is still calling a “special military operation”. Today marks the 92nd day of the campaign.
From 24th February to 26th May, the total combat losses of Russian troops stand at around 29,600 personnel, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The Ukrainian military also claims that Russia has lost 1,315 tanks, 3,235 armoured fighting vehicles, 617 artillery systems, 201 multiple launch rocket systems, 93 anti-aircraft systems, 206 warplanes, 170 helicopters, 2,225 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, 13 vessels, 502 unmanned aerial vehicles, 47 units of special equipment, and 114 cruise missiles.
In other developments, Ukrainian officials said Russian forces have attacked over 40 towns in the eastern Donbas region.
They added that five civilians died, 12 were wounded and 47 civilian sites were destroyed or damaged in the latest attacks.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree that makes it easier for Ukrainians in occupied areas to become citizens of Russia.
Russia has also done away with the upper age limit for contractual service in its military.
Ukraine has called Russia’s offer to lift the blockade of its Black Sea ports in return for the lifting of some sanctions “blackmail”.
The blockade has led to shortages in wheat and cooking oil across the world.