Russian Military Claims to Take Over Strategic Airport Near Ukraine Capital. Here’s What It Means
The airport in Hostomel has a long runway capable of accommodating heavy transport planes. Its seizure allows Russia to airlift troops directly to Kyiv's outskirts.
Kyiv: The Russian military has claimed to have taken control of a strategic airport just outside the Ukrainian capital and cut Kyiv off from the west, reported The Associated Press. The claim could not be independently verified though, it added.
Taking possession of the airport in Hostomel, which has a long runway allowing the landing of heavy-lift transport planes, would mean Russia can airlift troops directly to Kyiv’s outskirts. Hostomel is just 7 kilometers (4 miles) northwest of the city.
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Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said Friday that the Russian airborne forces used 200 helicopters to land in Hostomel and killed over 200 troops belonging to Ukraine’s special forces. Konashenkov claimed that Russian troops suffered no casualties, contradicting Ukrainian claims that Russian troops sustained heavy casualties in the fighting there.
Russia says ready for talks with Ukraine once….
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Friday said that Moscow is ready for talks at “any moment” with Ukraine once the Ukrainian military respond positively to President Vladimir Putin’s call, end their resistance and lay down their arms.
Lavrov made the remarks following talks with Deputy Foreign Minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Sergey Peresada and Foreign Minister of the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) Vladislav Deinego, the state-run TASS news agency reported.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed treaties with leaders of DPR and LPR on February 21, recognising the two regions of Ukraine as independent.
(With AP inputs)
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