News / Europe

On The Scene: Crimea, Divided

Armed Men Seize Airports in Ukraine's Crimeai
X
February 28, 2014 10:02 PM
Ukraine's political crisis appeared to have a new front on Friday, when armed men briefly seized two airports in the southern region of Crimea. VOA's Elizabeth Arrott has more from the regional capital Simferopol.
VIDEO: Ukraine's political crisis appeared to have a new front on Friday, when armed men briefly seized two airports in the southern region of Crimea. VOA's Elizabeth Arrott has more from the regional capital Simferopol.
Elizabeth Arrott
VOA Correspondent Elizabeth Arrott arrived in Crimea Friday and described the scene at the airport where about a dozen people in unbranded military uniforms are keeping watch at Simferopol airport in the southern Crimea region.
 
Ukraine's political crisis appeared to have a new front on Friday, when armed men briefly seized two airports in the southern region of Crimea.

The soldiers, who appear to be special forces of some sort, are maintaining a professional demeanor, but wear no insignia or anything that would identify who they represent.

They appear to be carrying modern and heavy weaponry, giving the impression of being professional soldiers. However, who they are remains a mystery.

In Sevastopol, home to Russia's Black Sea Fleet, forces blocked access to the local airport - a move described by Ukraine's new interior minister as a “military invasion” by Russian troops.

Russia denied the charges.

But the presence of forces, whose identity remained unclear, was welcomed by some in the region furious about the ouster of Urkainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

The soldiers are not an outwardly menacing presence. The airport remains open and flights are coming in.

The soldiers are standing guard and marching outside in an apparent show of force.

Crimea is traditionally sympathetic toward Russia and many welcome the military presence at the airport. Many here see the upheaval in Kyiv as an armed insurrection responsible for last week’s removal of a legitimately elected pro-Russian president, Yanukovych.

VOA's Elizabeth Arrott reports from Crimea airport
VOA's Elizabeth Arrott reports from Crimea airport i
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

While possible Russian troop movement remained a topic of uncertainty, many of the protesters echoed Russia's view of the new Kyiv government as brought to power by thugs and bandits.

Protester Antonina Lyubchenko said, "Simferopol doesn’t want fascism here as it happened in Kyiv and it did in fact happen in Kyiv."

Meanwhile, parliament is working on economy issues and the situation in Kyiv.

On Friday, anti-Russian protesters kept a low profile, as those in the region hoped a vote would be lead to more autonomy for Crimea.

The Russians already have an active presence near the Sevastopol airport, which is in a special base area leased to Russia for its Black Sea Fleet.

A Russian troop advance on Simferopol airport, which is about an hour’s drive from Sevastopol, could be considered an invasion of sovereign Ukrainian territory, resulting in far-reaching political consequences.

Aside from rings of Ukranian police surrounding parliament, elsewhere the city appears calm. Residents are going to work and children can be seen playing outside. Residents in the area say they feel safe during the daytime, but are wary of going out after dark.

On Friday, anti-Russian protesters kept a low profile, as those in the region hoped a vote would be lead to more autonomy for Crimea.

A pro-Russian advocate, who identified himself as Alexander, said, " We can do it ourselves with a referendum without any Russian troops. We have a totally legitimate parliament and legitimate deputies, as opposed to Kyiv where there is total anarchy."

But the appearance of armed men at key installations raised fears the lawmakers might not move fast enough.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
March 01, 2014 2:53 PM
The guys like Adolf Hitler ,Sadam Hussain &c are paranoids.No- waysuch a guy should be given any privilege to lead a country or nation.Putin recently earned Nobel Peace Prize over the Syrian Issue.He is expected to preserve the dignity of the prize . The people of God is one nation scattered around the world.None of them ought to be harmed.The WWIII , if it has to break out, it won't be similar to WWII & WWI. The World Govt has a role to play dutifully with a view to preserving humans agaist the beastly pagan forces.

by: Walter from: Ukraine
March 01, 2014 4:12 AM
Dear American Friends, do not let Putin to fool the world, as Hitler had done in 1938 and 1938. Nazis first occupied Czechoslovakia in 1938 saying they came “to protect” German minority, in 1939 they started deadly WWII by occupying Poland and almost whole Europe killing millions, including Jews. Putin is just the same. Here in Ukraine people are free to speak Ukrainian, Russian, Romanian, Hungerian. There are no ethnic problems. Please keep nation of Ukraine in your prayers to the Lord! Please contact your government officials to speak and act to protect Ukraine and its people from Russian aggression, which, God forbid, may sparkle the Third World War.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More