Donetsk International Airport

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Donetsk Sergei Prokofiev International Airport

Міжнародний аеропорт "Донецьк"
Международный аэропорт "Донецк"
Donetsk Airport Logo.png
Ruins of Donetsk International airport (16).jpg
The ruins of the airport in December 2014 during the war in Donbas.
Airport typePublic
ServesUkraine Donetsk, Ukraine
Elevation AMSL238 m / 781 ft
Coordinates48°04′30″N 037°43′32″E / 48.07500°N 37.72556°E / 48.07500; 37.72556Coordinates: 48°04′30″N 037°43′32″E / 48.07500°N 37.72556°E / 48.07500; 37.72556
UKCC is located in Donetsk
Location in Ukraine
UKCC is located in Donetsk Oblast
UKCC (Donetsk Oblast)
UKCC is located in Ukraine
UKCC (Ukraine)
Direction Length Surface
m ft
08/26 4,000 13,123 Concrete
Statistics (2014)
PassengersDecrease 346,700
Source: Ukrainian AIP at EUROCONTROL[1]

Donetsk Sergei Prokofiev International Airport (Ukrainian: Міжнародний аеропорт "Донецьк", Russian: Международный аэропорт "Донецк") (IATA: DOK, ICAO: UKCC) is a former airport located 10 km (6.2 mi) northwest of Donetsk, Ukraine, that was destroyed in 2014 during the war in Donbas.[2][3] It was built in the 1940s, rebuilt in 1973, and then again from 2011 to 2012 for Euro 2012. In 2013, during its last full year of operation, it handled more than a million passengers.[4]

The airport is named after twentieth-century composer Sergei Prokofiev, who was a native of Donetsk Oblast. The former airport, after being destroyed during the 1st and 2nd Battles of Donetsk Airport, has been controlled by pro-Russian separatist forces since 2015 and has occasionally since been a battleground.


Development until 2014[edit]

The main terminal before the war in Donbas
Donbassaero Airbus A320-200 at Donetsk International Airport
A Donetsk Airport old employee pin.

In accordance with a large infrastructure-building program in the Donetsk area for Euro 2012, in 2011 the Ukrainian construction company "Altcom" constructed a new airport terminal, developed by experts from Croatia. The Ukrainian state budget allocated $758m for the renovation project, while private investments and the local budget of Donetsk Oblast made up the remaining funds.[5] During Euro 2012, the new terminal received international flights, with soccer fans flown in from many European capitals, including London, and was regarded as a symbol of Ukraine’s progress.[6] From August 1, 2012 it served both domestic and international flights.[7]

The airline Donbassaero had its head office located at the airport,[8] although ceased operations in January 2013.[9]

2014–15 conflict[edit]

On May 26, 2014, fighters from the Donetsk People's Republic, with technical assistance from Russian mercenaries, seized the airport soon after Petro Poroshenko won the 2014 Ukrainian presidential election. In response, Ukrainian forces launched air attacks to regain control of it from the belligerents.[10] Two civilians and 38 combatants were reported dead, and the Ukrainian military regained control of the airport.[11][citation needed] Service at the airport has not resumed since the battle.[12]

On October 1, 2014, the belligerents attempted to retake the airport. A spokesman for what the Ukrainian government calls its anti-terrorist operation said Ukrainian forces repelled four attacks on the airport that evening. A T-64 tank was destroyed and seven Donetsk fighters were killed, Vladyslav Seleznyov told Kanal 5 TV. A reporter for Associated Press in Donetsk said on October 1 that there were indications that the government had lost control of the airport. DNR leader Alexander Zakharchenko said it was "95%" under his forces’ control. Ukrainian officials insisted the airport was still under government control as of October 2014.[13]

Zakharchenko claimed that the rebels had taken complete control of the airport on January 17, 2015, after a series of battles with pro-government forces over the complex.[citation needed] One day later, it was reported that government forces claimed to have retaken almost all parts of the airport lost to the belligerents in recent weeks, after a mass operation during the night.[14] On January 21, Ukrainian forces admitted losing control of the airport to the Donetsk People's Republic rebels.[15]

Over the course of battles for the airport, the airport complex suffered extensive damage from constant bombardments and change of hand between pro-government and proxy forces. The main terminal buildings, with their sturdy concrete construction, served as garrisons and shelters for soldiers defending the airport grounds, and as a result the buildings were subjected to attacks and suffered extensive structural failures, most notably the collapse of the massive roof over the new terminal building's mezzanine. Similarly, the control tower was contested by opposing forces as a strategic lookout point, but eventually collapsed in January 2015 during the final leg of the Second Battle of Donetsk Airport.[16][17]

Since the fighting, the ruins of the airport have been cleared of rubble, leaving behind the concrete shells of the new terminal building and adjoining parking garage.[citation needed]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

All civilian airline operations including Lufthansa, LOT Polish Airlines, Air Berlin, Aeroflot and flydubai were suspended due to armed conflict in May 2014, and the airport's facilities were subsequently completely destroyed.[citation needed]


Annual passenger traffic at DOK airport. See Wikidata query.
Year[18] Passengers Change on previous year
2009 0488,100 Steady
2010 0612,200 Increase025.4%
2011 0829,300 Increase035.5%
2012 1,000,000 Increase020.6%
2013 1,110,400 Increase011.0%
2014 0346,700 (closed due to the war in Donbas) Decrease068.8%
2015 Steady Decrease100.0%

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On November 3, 1996, a group of contract killers dressed in security forces fatigues opened indiscriminate fire at the plane of prominent local businessman Yevhen Shcherban as he disembarked on the apron after a flight from Moscow. Shcherban and his wife were killed, together with an airport ground technician and the plane's flight engineer.[19]
  • On February 13, 2013, South Airlines Flight 8971 crashed when the plane overshot the runway as it attempted an emergency landing, resulting in 5 fatalities.[20][21][22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ EAD Basic
  2. ^ "Donetsk Airport Cyborgs". Ukraine Today. October 15, 2014. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
  3. ^ "Донецкий аэропорт потерял стратегическое значение, поэтому отпала необходимость его удерживать – Генштаб". Unian. January 29, 2015.
  4. ^ "The battle for Ukraine's Donetsk airport – in pictures". The Guardian. January 23, 2015. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved December 30, 2022.
  5. ^ admin (May 14, 2012). "New EURO 2012 terminal opens at Ukraine's Sergei Prokofiev International Airport". Airport Technology. Retrieved December 30, 2022.
  6. ^ "Grandeur to rubble: Inside Donetsk International Airport". ITV News. February 4, 2015. Retrieved December 30, 2022.
  7. ^ admin (May 14, 2012). "New EURO 2012 terminal opens at Ukraine's Sergei Prokofiev International Airport". Airport Technology. Retrieved December 30, 2022.
  8. ^ "Contacts Archived May 31, 2011, at the Wayback Machine." Donbassaero. Retrieved on April 27, 2011. "Headquarter The headquarter of our company is located at international airport “Donetsk". Address: DONBASSAERO, 1«V», Vzlyotnaya str., Donetsk, 83021, Ukraine"
  9. ^ Donbassaero airline starts bankruptcy proceedings
  10. ^ Ukraine crisis: Battle to control Donetsk airport
  11. ^ "Dozens killed in fighting over Donetsk airport". Big News Network. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
  12. ^ Notice for passengers Archived May 31, 2014, at the Wayback Machine International Airport Donetsk. May 26, 2014. Accessed May 31, 2014
  13. ^ "Ukraine rebels renew push to take Donetsk airport". BBC News. October 2, 2014. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  14. ^ "Ukraine says retake most of Donetsk airport from rebels". World Bullentin. January 18, 2015. Retrieved January 18, 2015.
  15. ^ "Ukraine forces admit loss of Donetsk airport to rebels". The Guardian. January 21, 2015. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  16. ^ "Новости Донбасса :: В интернете появились фото разгромленного аэропорта имени Прокофьева ФОТО". Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  17. ^ "Donetsk airport damage captured by drone". BBC. January 19, 2015.
  18. ^ "News | S.S.Prokofiev International Airport Donetsk". Archived from the original on May 11, 2014. Retrieved May 31, 2014.
  19. ^ Донецкая мафия: Щербань Евгений (in Ukrainian)
  20. ^ "Plane crash landing in Ukraine kills at least five: officials". Reuters. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  21. ^ "BBC News – Five killed as plane crash-lands in eastern Ukraine". February 13, 2013. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  22. ^ "Deaths reported in Ukraine plane crash -". February 13, 2013. Retrieved August 3, 2014.

External links[edit]

Media related to Donetsk International Airport at Wikimedia Commons