News Society, 25/01/2021

Kharkivites Honor Donetsk Airport Defenders

On December 20, Kharkiv joined a national campaign to commemorate the 6th anniversary of Donetsk Airport’s heroic defense.

“Commemorative events took place at several city and regional locations including Kharkiv airport terminal, the Alley of Glory at the cemetery No 18 and at the Defenders of Ukraine monument,” informs the Kharkiv Regional State Administration press service.

Cadets of Kharkiv military universities and military personnel of the Kharkiv garrison, veterans of the ATO/JFO, volunteers and officials joined the events.

Military musicians from the orchestra of the Ivan Kozhedub National Air Force University performed the “Honor” composition.

At the Alley of Glory, Mytrofan, the Bishop of Kharkiv and Bohodukhiv, gave a memorial service for the Ukrainian soldiers who perished in the battles for Ukraine’s independence, followed by paying tribute to the memory of the killed soldiers and laying flowers at the memorial.

“Ukraine has lost its best sons, real heroes at the Donetsk airport. Respect for them is the guarantee of our unity, our strength and our faith. We have to do everything so that Ukraine becomes strong and successful and these heavy losses aren’t in vain,” said Dmytro Soroka, a former soldier of the 93rd separate mechanized brigade, a cyborg.

Reference: The battles for the strategically important Donetsk airport, started in May 2014 and lasted for 242 days. The Airport’s defenders were nicknamed cyborgs. And the first one who used this word was a terrorist of an illegal armed group of so-called “Novororossia,” “I do not know who fights there, but these are not people – these are ‘cyborgs’.”

The heroic defense lasted until January 22, 2015, when the last cyborgs left the control tower of the Donetsk airport under threat of death.

According to official figures, over 200 Ukrainian military personnel were killed during the 242-day defense.

Cyborgs wrote the most heroic and tragic page of modern Ukrainian history with their blood. “The people could stand up but the concrete could not,” the fighters stated then, the saying became a symbolic catchphrase of those days.

Text: Natalia Ivanova

Photo: Kharkiv Regional State Administration