Ukraine commemorates the 3rd anniversary of the heroic defense of the International Donetsk Airport these days.
On January 21, Kharkiv joined the all-Ukrainian action, dedicated to the 242-day fighting for the strategic site against Russia-backed paramilitary troops.
A joint brass band, including the orchestra of the Kozhedub Kharkiv University of Air Force and the National Academy of the National Guard of Ukraine played at the Kharkiv airport.
Similar concerts were performed by military musical groups in Kyiv, Dnipro, Zaporizhia, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Odesa, Chernihiv and Vinnitsa.
Comments and memorable photos were shared on social networks where Kharkivites recalled the battles for the strategically important Donetsk airport, which took place from May 26, 2014. The Airport’s defenders were nicknamed cyborgs for their incredible courage and strength. Over December 2015 – January 2016, as a result of fierce fighting, the old and new terminal buildings were destroyed, dozens of cyborgs lost their lives, which eventually forced Ukrainian soldiers to leave the airport.
“The people could stand up but the concrete could not,” the fighters stated then, the saying became a symbolic catchphrase of those days.
According to military experts, more than 200 Ukrainian servicemen were killed and more than 500 were injured during the airport defense.
The 242 days of Donetsk airport defense became one of the important stages of the Russian-Ukrainian war and a legendary epic event in the newest Ukrainian history.
Text: Olena Sokolynska