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Armed men seize another military airport in Ukraine's Crimea

Source: Reuters - Sun, 9 Mar 2014 18:52 GMT
Author: Reuters
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KIEV, March 9 (Reuters) - An armed pro-Russian force wearing military uniforms bearing no designated markings sealed off another military airport in Ukraine's Crimea on Sunday, a defence ministry spokesman on the peninsula said.

The 80 or so-strong group, who were supporting 50 civilians, blocked off the entrance to the airport near the village of Saki and established machine-gun posts along the landing strip, the spokesman, Vladislav Seleznyov, told Reuters by telephone.

The civilian group, who were wielding sticks and clubs, sought to break into the airport's control terminal, he said.

Russian forces have taken control of strategic points in Crimea, including Belbek military airport and the main civilian airport in Simferopol, without bloodshed following the overthrow of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich on Feb. 21 after a three-month revolt against his rule.

There have been several standoffs with Ukrainian forces at military installations but the Ukrainians have not put up armed resistance. (Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Writing by Richard Balmforth; Editing by Mike Collett-White)

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