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"They withstood the pressure but the concrete didn't": on January 20, Ukraine honors the invincible cyborgs of the Donetsk airport

The defense lasted 242 days

Every year on January 20, Ukrainians honor the memory and feat of the soldiers who defended Donetsk International Airport for 242 days at high cost and with extraordinary efforts. More than 100 Ukrainian heroes gave their lives to prevent the enemy from seizing the strategic facility, and almost half a thousand more were wounded.

Repulsing assault after assault under massive pressure, Ukrainian defenders held the line until the end of January 2015, and withdrew from the air defense facility only after it was completely destroyed. Since then, the unprecedented defense of this facility has been referred to as "they withstood the pressure but the concrete didn't".

"242 days of defense of Donetsk airport. 242 days of resilience and bravery of our defenders. The feat of the cyborgs proved that Ukrainians cannot be broken. The world could already see what Ukrainians are capable of. We remember everyone who fights for the sake of the state!" President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on the Day of Remembrance of the Defenders of the DAP.

The defense of DAP began on May 26, 2014, when Ukrainian soldiers drove Russian hybrid troops out of the airport. Until the fall, the airport area was relatively quiet, but in early September, after the signing of the Minsk agreements, all hell broke loose.

"Cyborgs are a symbol of resilience and the Ukrainian struggle. These are people of steel who defended Donetsk airport for over 200 days. It was they who showed the power and steadfastness of Ukrainians. Our unbreakability against the Russian occupiers. They withstood the pressure but the concrete did not," the SES noted.

Numerous enemy assaults under almost continuous shelling from mortars, tanks and artillery. Extremely difficult conditions... Losing their comrades, Ukrainian Heroes continued to hold the line even longer than the defenders of Stalingrad during the Second World War, whom Russian propaganda holds up as a model of invincibility. Stalingrad fell after 200 days of defense. The Ukrainian "cyborgs" began to leave the DAP 242 days later after the airport building was destroyed and there was nothing left to hold on to.

''They withstood the pressure but the concrete didn't'': on January 20, Ukraine honors the invincible cyborgs of the Donetsk airport

"Defense of Donetsk airport. It was one of the most difficult confrontations for Ukraine. It revealed the steely spirit, fierce stubbornness and extraordinary endurance of the soldiers at the beginning of the Russian-Ukrainian war. The phrase "The cyborgs survived but the concrete did not" has gone down in world history along with the heroic feat of the Ukrainian soldiers. The cyborgs have become a symbol of the exceptional courage and incredible resilience of the Ukrainian people, who today heroically continue to fight for the independence of their country. Eternal glory and honor to the defenders! Eternal glory to the heroes! Glory to Ukraine!" said Serhii Naiev, Commander of the Joint Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

''They withstood the pressure but the concrete didn't'': on January 20, Ukraine honors the invincible cyborgs of the Donetsk airport

The special forces of the 3rd Separate Regiment, soldiers of the 93rd and 72nd Separate Mechanized Brigade, 79th, 80th, 81st 95th Separate Airmobile Brigades, the 1st and 17th Separate Tank Brigades and the 57th Separate Motorized Infantry Brigade, the 90th Separate Airmobile and 74th Separate Reconnaissance Battalions, as well as soldiers of the Dnipro-1 Regiment and Ukrainian volunteers held the defence, destroyed the enemy and protected this strategic object.

Many of them were honored by the state with high awards. Some were honored posthumously.

''They withstood the pressure but the concrete didn't'': on January 20, Ukraine honors the invincible cyborgs of the Donetsk airport

101 soldiers died during the fighting for the DAP. 440 were wounded. Nine are still missing.

The DAP defenders suffered the greatest losses on January 20. On this day, exactly nine years ago, the occupiers blew up the columns holding the airport's barriers: 51 Heroes were killed.

The next day, the withdrawal of soldiers from the DAP began, as there was simply nothing left to hold on to.

''They withstood the pressure but the concrete didn't'': on January 20, Ukraine honors the invincible cyborgs of the Donetsk airport

ArmyINFORM, describing the chronology of the battles for the DAP, published photos of all the soldiers who remained in the ranks forever, fulfilling their duty to protect to the last second.

OBOZ.UA calls on everyone to look into the eyes of the Heroes, never forget their feat back then, and never doubt for a moment that their sacrifice was not in vain. Remember that with our joint support and assistance, the brothers of arms of the fallen, who are still defending our land and our people, will certainly win.

''They withstood the pressure but the concrete didn't'': on January 20, Ukraine honors the invincible cyborgs of the Donetsk airport
''They withstood the pressure but the concrete didn't'': on January 20, Ukraine honors the invincible cyborgs of the Donetsk airport
''They withstood the pressure but the concrete didn't'': on January 20, Ukraine honors the invincible cyborgs of the Donetsk airport
''They withstood the pressure but the concrete didn't'': on January 20, Ukraine honors the invincible cyborgs of the Donetsk airport
''They withstood the pressure but the concrete didn't'': on January 20, Ukraine honors the invincible cyborgs of the Donetsk airport
''They withstood the pressure but the concrete didn't'': on January 20, Ukraine honors the invincible cyborgs of the Donetsk airport

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