Five years later: Ukraine commemorates defenders of Donetsk airport, the ‘cyborgs’

17:30, 20 January 2020

Ukraine marks the fifth anniversary of the final day of the battle for Donetsk airport. Families of the deceased Ukrainian warriors gathered near the Defense Ministry on January 20; they brought photos of the perished fighters. President Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine's military command and cadets of military academies were present, too.

One of the bloodiest fights in the history of Donbas conflict lasted for 242 consecutive days. Stunned and discouraged by the fortitude of Ukrainian defenders, pro-Russian mercenaries called them "the cyborgs".  The custom to pay tribute to the fallen defenders of Donetsk airport is observed since 2016 - on this very day. Mourning bells and volleys may be heard in Ukraine on this occasion.