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article imageUkraine accuses Russian naval force of occupying Crimean airports

By Kev Hedges     Feb 28, 2014 in World
Simferopol - Ukraine's interior minister Arsen Avakov has accused the Russian navy of occupying Sevastopol airport in the autonomous region of Crimea.
Crimea lies at the north coast of the Black Sea and is a peninsula of Ukraine. But on Thursday Sevastopol airport and another major Crimean airport, Simferopol, was also occupied by unknown armed men on Friday. The men are believed to be acting on Russia's behalf, according to the interior minister. But it is still not clear where the armed militia's orders are coming from as Moscow has denied any involvement.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has assured US Secretary of State John Kerry that Moscow "will respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine," reports the Telegraph.
Relations between Russia and Ukraine have been under strain since Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was driven into hiding earlier in February.
On Thursday, many armed militia entered government buildings in Simferopol and planted Russian flags on top of the parliamentary buildings. At present, the Crimea is autonomous, meaning it has a much greater say on its laws and affairs than the central government in Kiev would have. But the coming days will see if any cessation from Ukraine from the pro-Russian population of Crimea gather pace.
More about Ukraine Protests, Putin, Arsen Avakov, Black sea, Sevastopol airport
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