Militia Seizes Two Crimean Airports

Ukraine Blames Russia for Growing Secessionist Ire

by Jason Ditz, February 28, 2014

Secessionist sentiments continue to grow in the Crimea today, and an armed militia of unknown origins has seized two major airports, including the airport in the capital of Simferopol and the military airport in Sevastopol.

The fighters for the militia are wearing non-specific camouflage fatigues, and media reports say they have refused to identify who they are or what their agenda is, though they are presumably part of the pro-secession movement.

The Russian military denied any contacts with the fighters, terming them only “Crimean militiamen.” Troops from the Russian Naval base at Sevastopol have deployed in the area around the base as well, something they insist is in keeping with their base rental deal, and simply designed to protect the base itself from the growing chaos.

Ukraine interim government officials have blamed Russia for the protests, the militias, and everything else going on in the Crimea, terming it an “armed invasion.” As with the secessionist movements in Lviv before the regime change in Ukraine, however, the seems to be a strong sense that the Ukraine is simply too split to survive as a unified country.

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