Ukrainian troops have reclaimed almost all of the area in and around Donetsk Sergey Prokofiev International Airport in eastern Ukraine from rebels.
They have launched a mass operation against Russia-backed rebel separatists who captured the airport in recent weeks, Reuters reported.
The operation came as Kiev ordered to battle with the separatists, who have been blamed of killing 13 civilians in an attack on a passenger bus.
Military spokesman Andriy Lysenko was quoted by the publication as saying that the army’s operation had returned battle lines near the airport to the previous status quo and has not violated the 12-point peace plan agreed with Russia and separatist leaders last September in Minsk.
"We succeeded in almost completely cleansing the territory of the airport, which belongs to the territory of Ukrainian forces as marked by military separation lines," Lysenko said.
The firing in the airport area continued until early Monday morning.
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The Guardian reported that the fighting resumed near Donetsk and Luhansk following a brief interval before New Year’s Day and has intensified over the past week.
The control tower in the airport has collapsed, while the terminals and runways have been severely damaged by shelling.
Image: Donetsk International Airport has been a target of rebel attacks since May. Photo: courtesy of Michael1238.