Ukraine Launches Airstrikes on Separatists Who Seized International Airport

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
May 26 2014 4:23 PM

Ukraine Launches Airstrikes on Separatists Who Seized International Airport

493897183-pro-russian-militants-take-their-position-at-the
Pro-Russian militants occupy the Donetsk airport on May 26, 2014.

Photo by Alexander KHUDOTEPLY/AFP/Getty Images

Fighting erupted in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk on Monday, as the country’s military battled pro-Russian separatists who had seized the city’s international airport. “Fighter jets screamed and automatic gunfire popped throughout the afternoon as Ukrainian soldiers fought a ground battle around the airport against the separatists,” the New York Times reports.

The fighting comes one day after Ukraine appeared to have overwhelming elected a new leader, Petro Poroshenko, with the hope, Reuters reports, that the chocolate business baron “can rescue the nation from the brink of bankruptcy, civil war and dismemberment by its former Soviet masters in the Kremlin.” Poroshenko told reporters during a press conference in Kiev Monday, Ukrainian forces needed to be “quicker and more effective” in combating rebel forces while simultaneously calling for talks with Moscow to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Advertisement

After a day of fighting, the Times reports, “the military appeared to have evicted the separatists from the airport, cordoning off the area with roadblocks.” Here’s more on what the day’s fighting could mean in Ukraine from the Times.

The seizure of the airport suggested a new, perhaps desperate, escalation by the militants who in recent days have appeared to lose the political support of the Kremlin, which indicated that it would respect the results of Sunday’s election.
The militants are unlikely to survive long without the backing of Russia. But support can come in many ways, and it is far from clear that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia intends to give up what appears to be a useful geopolitical lever: violence and instability in Ukraine’s east that has left the West flustered.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

Where Ebola Lives Between Outbreaks

Gunman Killed Inside Canadian Parliament; Soldier Shot at National Monument Dies

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Paul Farmer: Up to 90 Percent of Ebola Patients Should Survive

Is he right?

Science

“I’m Not a Scientist” Is No Excuse

Politicians brag about their ignorance while making ignorant decisions.

Politics

The Right to Run

If you can vote, you should be able to run for public office—any office.

In Praise of 13th Grade: Why a Fifth Year of High School Is a Great Idea 

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 22 2014 6:30 PM The Tragedies That Have Shaped Canada's Gun Politics
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
  Life
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 22 2014 4:10 PM Skinny Mark Wahlberg Goes for an Oscar: The First Trailer for The Gambler
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.