May 27 - Ukrainian forces launch air strikes and a paratrooper assault against pro-Russian rebels who seized the Donetsk airport.. Rough Cut (No reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION Ukrainian government warplanes carried out airstrikes against pro-Russian rebels who seized Donetsk international airport on Monday, triggering a battle in and around the complex in a show of force by both sides after the election of a new president. Reuters journalists saw black smoke billowing from the area of the airport after repeated explosions and gunfire, while jets roared overhead. A security official said paratroops had also landed in one of the fiercest clashes since violence broke out in Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine some two months ago. There was no full account from either side of casualties but the press service of the regional administration said one man had been killed and two injured by shrapnel of a shell which struck a part of the railway station serving the airport. A spokesman for the Ukrainian joint forces' security operation in the region said two Sukhoi Su-25 jets had carried out strafing runs, firing warning shots around Sergei Prokofiev International Airport. He said the separatist forces returned fire at random from all types of weapons. The spokesman said the militants had then spread out across the territory of the airport, whose main terminal was built only for the 2012 European soccer championships held in Ukraine. The action, after an overnight move by rebels of the Donetsk People's Republic to take over the airport, looked like a forceful first act by Petro Poroshenko, the billionaire who swept to the presidency on Sunday. He said he would not deal treat with "terrorists", despite calls from Russia for Kiev not to step up its military operations in the east of Ukraine.