Ordinary people who have joined the ranks of pro-Russian forces are seen on video defending the bombed Donetsk airport in the disputed Donetsk Oblast, a region in eastern Ukraine adjacent to Russia.
The region is internationally recognized as Ukrainian but is administered by pro-Russian separatists.
The People’s Militia (NM) of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said former teachers and miners are now donning uniforms and carrying out patrols at the city’s airport, located in a strategically important area of Donetsk.
The militia said on Tuesday: “Mobilized servicemen of the DPR people’s militia stand defense at Donetsk airport.
“The mobilized servicemen of the People’s Militia of the DPR defend one of the most important sectors of the defense of the capital of the Donetsk People’s Republic. Yesterday’s miners, teachers and other workers of peaceful professions are coping adequate for this important task.”
Following the 2014 “Revolution of Dignity” in Ukraine, the first Donetsk airport battle took place on May 26–27 between DPR and Ukrainian government forces.
After a Ukrainian victory, the DPR retook the airport in the Second Donetsk Airport Battle between September 28, 2014 and January 21, 2015.
Russian troops invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what the Kremlin still calls a “special military operation.” June 7 marks 104 days since the first day of the invasion.
Zenger News has contacted Russian and Ukrainian officials for comment, but has not received a response at the time of writing.
From February 24 to June 7, the total combat losses of Russian troops amounted to about 31,360 men, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The Ukrainian military also claims that Russia lost 1,390 tanks, 3,416 armored fighting vehicles, 694 artillery systems, 207 multiple rocket launcher systems, 96 anti-aircraft warfare systems, 212 aircraft, 177 helicopters, 2,405 motor vehicles and fuel tanks, 13 warships. , 553 unmanned aerial vehicles, 53 special equipment units and 125 cruise missiles.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Center for Strategic Communications (StratCom) said on Monday that Russian Major General Roman Kutuzov was killed in a battle near Popasna in the Luhansk region. This has now been confirmed by Russian state media.
The United Kingdom and the United States have announced that they will send long-range missile systems to Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned of further attacks in Ukraine if the West sends in long-range weapons.
Russian missiles hit Kyiv on Sunday in the first assault on the Ukrainian capital in weeks.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russian attacks on the towns of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk had turned them into “ghost towns”, but he added that Ukrainian forces could still hold Severodonetsk despite being outnumbered.
Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations walked out of a Security Council meeting on Monday after European Council President Charles Michel accused Russia of triggering a global food crisis.
This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.