‘Edge of Tomorrow' — Ukraine's Never-Ending Battle Near Kyiv

The night after Russian special forces took Hostomel Airport, Ukrainian troops scouted the perimeter, got ambushed, retreated, but then found themselves in the perfect place at the perfect time.


NSFW    HOSTOMEL, UKRAINE — After Russia attacked and took the airport at Hostomel — also known as Antonov Airport — on the first day of the invasion, the Ukrainians fought back.

That night a small force of Ukrainian paratroopers infiltrated the forest outside the airport’s high wall. They made the mistake of sending five men over the wall, where Russian special forces were waiting.

After taking withering fire from Russian machine guns and grenade launchers, the Ukrainians called in airstrikes on the Russian positions. Here’s how the battle ended:

The Wall Street Journal reports that, after calling in an artillery strike, the small Ukrainian paratrooper force set up missile firing positions to take out any Russian planes that might try to land at the airport.

Having taken several casualties, the main force then retreated toward the south.

Suddenly, they heard the roar of Russian tanks and BMPs coming in their direction. The Ukrainians scurried to set up an ambush in the dark.

When the Russian armor came within range, they fired an anti-tank missile, which destroyed the leading tank. They then fired rocket-propelled grenades at the remaining vehicles, which quickly turned around and sped away.

A short while later, the soldiers were met by civilians who used their cars to take the injured to hospital.

Over the next few days Ukrainian forces managed to halt Russian forces on a front line around Hostomel.

Since that first day of the invasion, heavy fighting has continued for weeks around the airport, and Russia has been unable to land its big transport planes at the airport — which lies just outside Kyiv.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s defenders had been able to inflict losses on the Russian war machine by mixing effective tactics with expensive Western missile systems.

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