Digging in progress in Ukrainian village to prevent Donetsk Airport from rebels

11 November 2014 (Last Updated November 11th, 2014 18:30)

Ukrainian soldiers are digging around the village of Pisky in an attempt to prevent Donetsk Airport from coming under the control of rebels.

Ukrainian soldiers are digging around the village of Pisky in an attempt to prevent Donetsk Airport from coming under the control of rebels.

While Ukraine and Russia had signed a peace truce in September, clashes between government forces and Russia-backed separatists have intensified in the past few days.

Donetsk Airport is situated a mile away from Pisky and is the only part of the regional capital of Donetsk that is still under the control of the government forces. However, the airport has seen some of the fiercest attacks in the past few months.

"The airport district doesn't exist anymore. We will have to rebuild it from the ground up."

As reported in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), a number of Ukrainian officials in Kiev said that the government was considering trading the airport for rebel-held territory elsewhere.

The village has around 2,000 residents and a group of 100 paratroopers and volunteer fighters are digging in every day.

Rebel leaders have stated that they want control of the airport that had been built for the European soccer championships in 2012. However, very less of it is left after the fierce battle.

Rebel-appointed mayor of Donetsk Igor Martynov was quoted by WSJ as saying: "The airport district doesn't exist anymore. We will have to rebuild it from the ground up."

The airport had briefly been under the control of the separatists in May. However, Kiev forced them to retreat after attacking the terminal from the air.