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

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    Clinton, Sanders Fight for African American Votes

    Some African American lawmakers lining up to support Clinton in face of perceived surge by Sanders in race for Democratic nomination in presidential campaign

    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.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.