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DONETSK, May 27. /ITAR-TASS/. Fatalities may reach 100 people in a punitive operation active stage of which Ukrainian law enforcement agencies started in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk on Monday. Chairman of the Supreme Council presidium of the Donetsk People’s Republic Denis Pushilin reported this to ITAR-TASS on Tuesday.
“At present, it is known that more than 50 militiamen have been killed. In addition, according to preliminary reports, from 20 up to 50 civilians died,” he said. Pushilin has noted that until now “it is impossible to take away the bodies of all the victims, because snipers are shooting at everyone who attempts to approach them”.
Earlier, Donetsk mayor Alexander Lukyanchenko has confirmed that at least 40 people were killed in a military operation carried out by the Ukrainian security forces in the city. He said that all of them died in combat near the city’s airport.
Parliament-appointed Minister of Interior Affairs Arsen Avakov has confirmed that “dozens of people” died in the special raid.
Clashes in the area of the Sergei Prokofyev international airport in Donetsk started Monday morning. Ukrainian armed forces used storming aviation, in particular, fighter planes and combat helicopters. Fighting near the airport continued the whole day through and the following night as well. Denis Pushilin said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 TV channel that people’s militia forces managed to shoot down two helicopters of the Ukrainian armed forces and take control over the airport’s building.
Several hours ago near the Putilovskiy bridge and local military enlistment office fierce fighting between militiamen and servicemen of the Ukrainian National Guard took place. An ITAR-TASS journalist reported from the spot of the events that the area of combat actions was cordoned by the police, but law enforcement officers were avoiding actions since they were armed only with service guns instead of automatic weapons.
According to the press service of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, the situation in the city is currently calm.