The engagement came as rebel troops launched what they described as a “reconnaissance attack” on the airport, using artillery pieces and small arms to engage the government garrison in the north of the city.
As the afternoon wore on rebels and city police closed off streets in the north of the city, while militia men took up defensive positions on street corners and in courtyards and scrubland in the surrounding suburbs.
Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Douglas Costa says he and his fellow players who refused to return to the Ukrainian champion did so because the conflict in the country puts their lives at risk.
Costa and five other South American players refused to travel with the rest of the team to Ukraine for Tuesday's first match of the season.
I have no time to meet people because I work all the time.
more about Juliya from Cherkassy I would like to find a nice and honest girl for creation of family.
Our Ukraine marriage agency is sure to help you find Beautiful Russian Ladies, Russian Women for marriage, friendship or dating with Russian women.
According to Itar Tass, the document sealing its independence will see Donetsk “build its relations in line with international law and on the basis of equality and mutual benefits”.
It added that “the territory of the republic within the recognized borders is indivisible and inviolable”.
"We want to stay at the club, but we must have risk-free working conditions."Costa, 23, has been with Shakhtar since 2010, winning five straight Ukrainian titles and reaching the Champions League quarterfinals in 2010-11.
The city of Donetsk is held by pro-Russian rebels who are battling advancing Ukrainian forces, and around 60 kilometers (38 miles) from the site where Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 crashed Thursday with almost 300 people on board.
Refusing to fulfil their contracts could cost the players "tens of millions of euros" in compensation payments to the club, he warned.