WorldViews: The bloody battle for Donetsk’s airport: The view from the front lines

By Fredrick Kunkle, May 27, 2014

The seizure of Donetsk International Airport by pro-Russian separatists seemed more theatrical at first than menacing as Monday dawned.

Maybe a mile from the terminal on broad, tree-lined Vzlyotnii Boulevard, local police had set up a roadblock at the airport’s access road that was well mobbed by journalists when we arrived. TV crews were doing stand-ups or filming close-ups of police officers shooing away motorists. A bunch of taxi drivers who had brought the journalists were milling near their cabs, smoking cigarettes and curiously watching while waiting to drive them back to their hotels.

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