Armed men seize Crimean airports. Ukrainian interior minister says it's a Russian "armed invasion and occupation" https://t.co/G3ZZclsxfD
1. Updated – 3:30 a.m. ET
2. A group of armed men occupied Simferopol Airport and Sevastopol Airport in Crimea early Friday morning.
3. Arsen Avakov, Ukraine’s new interior minister, said on Facebook, “I can only describe this as a military invasion and occupation.”
6. Reportedly the estimated 50 men at the airport were wearing the same uniforms to those who stormed local government buildings in Simferopol and raised the Russian flag.
10. Witnesses apparently told Interfax news agency the men with “Russian Navy ensigns” surrounded Simferopol Airport’s domestic terminal.
A volunteer helping the men named Vladimir has reportedly told Reuters that he said he did not know where the men came from, adding: “I’m with the People’s Militia of Crimea. We’re simple people, volunteers. We’re here at the airport to maintain order. We’ll meet the planes with a nice smile — the airport is working as normal.”
12. Apparently Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has denied blocking Belbek Airport in Sevastopol.
13. The AP reports the men have apparently apologized and left Simferopol Airport after no Ukrainian troops had landed at the airport.
Apparently the airport has “no comment,” on the situation but, as the the volunteer Vladimir told Reuters, the airport seems to be functioning normally.