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BBC News - Dozens of armed men 'patrol' airport in Ukraine's Crimea

Armed men in military uniforms are patrolling the main airport in Ukraine's Crimea region, amid tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

It follows the ousting of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanokovych, who is now in Russia.

It is not immediately clear who the men in the airport are, nor the reason for their presence at the airport.

On Thursday, pro-Russian armed men stormed the parliament in Crimea, Ukraine's only Russian-majority region.

Armed men seize Crimea airport in Ukraine - Europe - Al Jazeera English

The main airport in Simferopol in Ukraine's eastern Crimea region is continiung to operate normally hours after it was seized by pro-Russian armed men who had also taken over government buildings in the region in a direct challenge to authorities in capital Kiev following president Viktor Yanukovich's ouster.

Al Jazeera's Laurence Lee, reporting from Crimea, said on Friday the men, who briefly entered the airport, were departing.

At least 40 pro-Moscow armed men had earlier annexed anumber of government buildings in Crimea, a region with a Russian ethnic majority.

"I can see four trucks, which I assume are filled with men, leaving the airport," Lee said, adding that at least nine armed men, dressed in combat fatigues, were still inside the airport.

He added that air traffic was kept "on time and schedule, some way or another."

Conflict fears rise after pro-Russian gunmen seize Crimean parliament | World news | The Guardian

Fears of a major regional conflict in Crimea pitting Russia against the west intensified on Thursday after pro-Russian gunmen seized the regional government and parliament building in a well co-ordinated military operation, while similar groups were on Friday morning controlling access to the airports of Simferopol and Sevastopol.

Early on Friday morning about 50 armed gunman reportedly marched into Simferopol's airport after arriving in Kamaz trucks. They first cordoned off the domestic terminal and then moving on to other areas. Russia Today described them as similarly dressed and equipped to the "local ethnic Russian 'self-defence squads'" that seized the parliament and government buildings.

Witnesses said the men at the airport were bearing Russian navy flags. The AFP news agency said the airport was operating as Friday dawned, with passengers checking in for flights. The Associated Press said dozens of the armed men continued to patrol the airport and they refused to speak to media. AFP said representatives from the new leadership in Kiev had been due to arrive at the airport on Friday.

In Sevastopol armed men were reported to have set up a perimeter around the city's combined military-civilian airport, known as Belbek, on Friday morning. The Interfax news agency described them as Russian servicemen who said they had gone to Belbek to stop "fighters" flying in.

Sorry these are only lousy Western news sources (or worse with Al Jazeera), while Russia Today doesn't seem to be covering it at the moment.

This is reassuring because it means the alleged events aren't happening. Even if they were, these armed men would be heroic resistance fighters and not thugs, fascists, rabble with no legitimacy.

Best thing regarding Crimea is to see what Voice of Russia is saying:

Putin instructs gov't to continue contacts with Kiev on economy and to discuss Crimea humanitarian aid - News - World - The Voice of Russia: News, Breaking news, Politics, Economics, Business, Russia, International current events, Expert opinion, podcasts

Spokesman of the head of state, Dmitry Peskov has announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the government to continue communications with Ukrainian partners on the questions regarding the development of trade and economic relations, as well as to consult with international partners, including the IMF, to provide financial assistance to Kiev and to examine the issue of the provision of humanitarian aid in the Crimea.

Humanitarian aid. That's nice.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 28th, 2014 at 02:14:14 AM EST

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