HomeDrone footage shows what more than a year of war has done to an airport in Ukraine

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by Allan Smith

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This incredible drone footage shows what happened to the airport in Donetsk, Ukraine, after being ravaged by war for more than a year.

Donetsk, a city in eastern Ukraine, has been a highly contested site, fought over by the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian separatist forces since the outbreak of war in early 2014. Its airport in particular was viewed as a strategic necessity for both sides, which led to two large-scale battles over the facility.

However, in its current shape, the airport is virtually useless. It has been under rebel control sinceearly 2015.

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The Donetsk airport has been one of the most heavily fought over pieces of land between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian rebels.

Ukraine’s military said Thursday it was starting the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the frontline with pro-Russian rebels, a key step in a stuttering peace plan. The start of the withdrawal by Kiev comes after a shaky truce that was meant to come into force February 15 finally took hold across the Ukraine conflict zone in recent days.

Ukrainian POWs in the separatist stronghold of Donetsk began a task  that strained their hearts as well as their muscles: digging through the rubble to retrieve the bodies of fellow soldiers killed  in the bitter battle for the city’s airport.