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

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora