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

HRW: Egypt's Trial of Morsi ‘Badly Flawed’

Human Rights Watch says former Egypt leader's detention without charge for more than three weeks after his removal from office violated Egyptian law; government rejects criticism More

Photogallery Lancet Report Calls for Major Investment in Surgery

In its report published by The Lancet, panel of experts says people are dying from conditions easily treated in the operating room such as hernia, appendicitis, obstructed labor, and serious fractures More

Music Industry Under Sway of Digital Revolution

Millions of people in every corner of the Earth now can enjoy a vast variety and quantity of music in a way that has never before been possible 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.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs