Ukrainian Soldiers Who Fought in Battle Over Donetsk Airport Return Home

Ukrainian soldiers of the 95th Airborne Brigade returned to their base in Zhytomyr to a heroes’ welcome on Wednesday, March 11, despite their recent retreat from Donetsk. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported that some members of the brigade, which fought in intense clashes with pro-Russian separatists over Donetsk International Airport, will be demobilized, while others said they would go on leave.

The Donetsk airport, which has become a symbol of the broader conflict in eastern Ukraine, fell to rebel fighters in late January after nearly nine months of clashes. The Ukrainian Army left their dead behind during a chaotic retreat from the airport on January 27, according to reports.

The Emergency Situations Ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic reported on March 11 that it had resumed a search for the bodies of Ukrainian troops at the airport, which has been reduced to rubble. Sixteen bodies of Ukrainian soldiers were found at the airport on March 12, according to Interfax news agency. Credit: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty