A group of armed men in unmarked military uniforms seized the Simferopol airport in the Crimea on Friday night, the Interfax Ukraine news agency reports.
Witnesses told the news agency that the airport was seized by about 150 people armed and equipped in a manner similar to those that seized the autonomous republic’s parliament and government buildings in the morning of February 27. They arrived at the airport in four KAMAZ trucks without license plates, from which they unloaded ammunition and weapons.
Initially, the armed men surrounded the airport’s terminal for domestic flights but later moved on.
The airport’s control tower said that the airport was continuing to operate normally. According to the agency, the camouflaged armed men are now guarding the airport building that houses the VIP hall.
The unidentified gunmen are speaking in a Russian accent and, according to an eyewitness, they are very determined to prevent Interior Affairs Minister Arsen Avakov and the Security Service of Ukraine’s Chairman Valentyn Nalyvaichenko from landing.