Armed Men In Russian Uniforms Occupy Airports In Crimea

Dozens of armed men took over Simferopol and Sevastopol airports in the Ukrainian region of Crimea Friday morning.

1. Updated – 3:30 a.m. ET

2. A group of armed men occupied Simferopol Airport and Sevastopol Airport in Crimea early Friday morning.

AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev

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.

David Mdzinarishvili / Reuters

10. Witnesses apparently told Interfax news agency the men with “Russian Navy ensigns” surrounded Simferopol Airport’s domestic terminal.

AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev

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.”

13. The AP reports the men have apparently apologized and left Simferopol Airport after no Ukrainian troops had landed at the airport.

David Mdzinarishvili / Reuters

Apparently the airport has “no comment,” on the situation but, as the the volunteer Vladimir told Reuters, the airport seems to be functioning normally.

14. Tensions with Russia are high after the recent unrest in Crimea and Moscow sheltering the now fugitive ex-president of Ukraine.

AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev

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