Fierce fighting in eastern Ukraine around Donetsk airport, which broke out this past Thursday, has not abated. If anything, it has intensified, with Russian involvement more brazen as before. The BBC:
“The situation in the area of Donetsk airport remains difficult,” Ukrainian military spokesman Vladyslav Seleznyov told Ukraine’s Kanal 5 TV. “The militants, using smoke bombs as a cover, broke into the ground floor of the old terminal,” he said. Ukrainian soldiers had pushed the rebels from half the building, Mr Seleznyov added. But leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic claimed that their fighters had seized the whole airport. Eyewitnesses earlier told local media that a number of rebels had been killed during the clashes.A correspondent for Associated Press news agency reported seeing three rebel tanks firing at the main terminal, with sniper shots ringing out. Fighting for the airport – a vantage point for the Ukrainian army to fire on positions in rebel-held Donetsk – has intensified in recent days. Ukraine says two servicemen have been killed and another nine wounded since Thursday. Mr Seleznyov also accused Russia of sending drones over the airport to help the rebels’ reconnaissance efforts and direct fire.
PINO—peace in name only—is what we seem to have in Ukraine. Putin is as unimpressed today by Western posturing and moralizing as he was when the crisis began last year. If anything, he is more certain than ever that he knows how to play both the U.S. and NATO.