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Ukraine accuses Russia of 'armed invasion' after airport seizure - live updates | World news | theguardian.com

Fears of conflict in Crimea have intensified after Ukraine accused Russia of taking over two airports there, the day after gunmen seized the local parliament buildings. Here is a summary of the latest developments:

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said Russian forces have taken over two airports in Crimea, accusing them of "an armed invasion and occupation in violation of all international agreements and norms".

About 50 armed men in military uniform, without signs of identification, took over Simferopol airport in the early hours of Friday. Interfax Ukraine reported that a group of people with Russian navy ensigns also gathered at the airport's building.

Armed men, described by Avakov as Russian naval forces, have also taken over a military airport near the port of Sevastopol where the Russian Black Sea fleet has a base.

The airport seizures come the day after pro-Russian gunmen took over the Crimean parliament.

Russia Today is now running this in an inconspicuous spot on the Web page:

Overnight raid: Over 50 men with Russian flags show up Crimea capital airport -- RT News

A group of men in military uniforms carrying Russian flags have raided Simferopol International Airport in the capital of Crimea, Ukraine's autonomous region. They claimed to be looking for Ukrainian airlifted forces, the airport press service says.

The airport is currently working without delays.

According to eyewitnesses in the middle of the night at least three KamAZ trucks without license plates drove to the airport with about 50 men.

At first the group cordoned off the airport's domestic flights terminal, but then pushed forward.

The airport spokesman however refuted reports of a takeover and said that about 50 men arrived at the airport to search for Ukrainian airborne troops. However, after finding out that there was no military present on the tarmac, they apologized and left the territory, Igor Stratilati told Echo Moscow radio.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 28th, 2014 at 03:13:51 AM EST

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