Ukrainian Interior Ministry: Crimean airports seized by Russian troops, it's invasion
10:22, — Europa
Interior Minister Arsen Avakov confirmed the Russian troops blocked airports in Crimea.
He describes it as a “military invasion and occupation”. Arsen Avakov wrote it on Facebook informing about the seizure of the airports in Sevatopol and Simferopol.
The full text of his post is below:
“1. The Belbek airport. It is blocked by military units of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Ukrainian military personnel and border guards are inside the airport. Armed soldiers wearing camouflage without insignia, but not hiding their identification, are outside the airport. Ukraine's Interior Ministry personnel guard the outer perimeter. No armed clashes have taken place.
2. The airport in Simferopol. A group of people in civilian clothes, about 100 men, calling themselves Cossacks, appeared at the airfield at midnight.
The interior troops and police pushed them back first to the airport building and then outside the airport. No weapons were used. The 'Cossacks' left the territory of the airport in side curtains KAMAZ trucks at around 1 a.m.
At around 1:30 a.m., 119 servicemen in camouflage uniform without insignia carrying assault rifles arrived at the airport in several trucks. They entered the airport building and occupied the restaurant. They don't hide they belong to the Russian armed forces. To notices by Ukrainian policemen that the servicemen don't have the right to stay there, they reply they don't have instructions to hold negotiations. The situation is static. Both sides haven't used weapons. The Russian servicemen are watching the work of the airport and don't interfere.
The internal troops and police of Ukraine strengthened squads in the airport district. Tension is growing. The police cannot resist the regular armed forces.
I consider it to be a military invasion and occupation in violation of all international agreements and norms. It is a direct provocation of armed bloodshed in the territory of a sovereign state.
It lies beyond the scope of the Interior Ministry. It is in the competence of the National Security and Defence Council.
“While we don't have direct military clashes, diplomats should talk.”
Photo: REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili
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