Fredrick Kunkle, Michael Birnbaum and Abigail Hauslohner
May 28, 2014
DONETSK, Ukraine — The Ukrainian government vowed to push ahead
Wednesday with military operations against pro-Russian separatists in
the embattled east of the country after a big show of strength routing
rebels from this city’s international airport.
Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine’s president-elect, said the “anti-terrorist
operation” against the rebels, whom he has likened to Somali pirates,
“has finally really begun.” In an interview with Germany’s Bild
newspaper, Poroshenko, 48, said he was in close contact with the
Ukrainian interim government in Kiev.
Ukraine’s military on Tuesday used Soviet-era fighter jets and attack
helicopters to pound rebels and retake Donetsk’s Sergei Prokofiev
International Airport. The rebels, who said they suffered a heavy loss
of life in the two-day operation, had seized the airport, the nation’s
second-largest, in this eastern city on Monday, a day after Ukraine’s
presidential and mayoral elections.
Poroshenko, one of Ukraine’s richest tycoons, convincingly won the
May 25 presidential election in the first round. He said after his
victory that he wants to pursue talks with Russian President Vladimir
Putin, although he accused Russia of instigating the violence in the
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