Ukraine accuses Russia of ‘military invasion’ as gunmen seize airports

Posted by on Feb 28, 2014 at 7:47 am

Armed forces were blocking the two main airports in the strategic peninsula of Crimea on Friday in what Ukraine’s new government described as a takeover by Russian forces, as the country asked the U.N. Security Council to intervene in the escalating conflict.

No violence was reported, and flights continued to operate at the airport serving Simferopol, the regional capital. It was not immediately clear whether the airport in Sevastopol, owned by the Ukrainian defense ministry, was open but there are no scheduled services to the facility.

Russia’s Black Sea fleet, which is based in the area, denied its forces were involved in seizing one of the airports, Interfax news agency reported, according to Reuters

The Russian foreign ministry refused a request for comment by The Associated Press while a spokesman for the Russian defense ministry also had no comment.

Ukraine’s new Interior Minister Arsen Avakov wrote in a Facebook post that the Belbek international airport in Sevastopol was blocked by military units of the Russian navy.

“I can only describe this as a military invasion and occupation,” Avakov said.

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