Kiev: Pro-Russian separatists and government forces clashed near the main airport in Donetsk on Monday after a counter-offensive on Sunday by Ukrainian troops to reclaim lost ground and the Kiev military said three Ukrainian soldiers had been killed.
Military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said: "The (separatist) fighters of the Donetsk and Luhansk People`s republics are continuing to storm Donetsk airport and fire on our positions.
"This is not simply a strategic objective. It is a launching pad from which the terrorists can begin a new offensive. We will not surrender the airport," he said, adding that three soldiers had been killed and 66 others wounded in the past 24 hours.