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Reports of Russian troops landing in Crimea


February 28, 2014 "Information Clearing House - "RTE" -  - Russian aircraft carrying nearly 2,000 suspected troops have landed at a military air base near the regional capital of the Crimean peninsula, a top Ukrainian official said accusing Moscow of an "armed invasion".

"Thirteen Russian aircraft landed at the airport of Gvardeyskoye (near Simferopol) with 150 people in each one," Sergiy Kunitsyn, the Ukrainian president's special representative in Crimea, told the local ATR television channel.

He said the air space had been closed.

It was not immediately clear if Russia had the right to use the base or send additional troops there under its agreements with Ukraine.

Kiev's main airport has said flights to the Crimean capital of Simferopol have been cancelled as tensions escalate on the peninsula.

A spokeswoman who did not give her name said flights for this evening and tomorrow morning had been cancelled because "the situation in Simferopol does not allow them to accept flights".

The Simferopol airport website said a flight to and from Istanbul had been also cancelled this evening. It was unclear whether the Crimean air space had been closed altogether.

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council will hold a closed-door emergency session on the escalating crisis in Ukraine at the request of the new Kiev government, which warned that the situation in Crimea threatened Ukraine's territorial integrity.

Armed men took control of two airports in Ukraine's autonomous Crimea region earlier today in what the country's leadership described as an invasion and occupation by Russian forces.

Russia denied involvement in the airport seizures.

Ukraine's UN Ambassador Yuriy Sergeyev wrote to Lithuanian Ambassador Raimonda Murmokaite requesting the meeting.

Ms Murmokaite is president of the Security Council for the month of February. Her mission confirmed on Twitter that the meeting would take place at 3pm in New York (8pm Irish time).

Article 34 of the UN charter talks about the power of the 15-nation council to investigate disputes or "international friction" to determine whether international peace and security is in jeopardy.

It was not clear what the council could do at the meeting, which will take place behind closed doors.

Russia is a veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council and, therefore, able to block any proposed action by its members.

Diplomats said Russia, which has criticised Ukraine's new government and voiced support for ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, had attempted to delay the meeting.

A spokesman for Russia's UN mission declined to comment.

The Ukrainian letter to Lithuania, which was obtained by Reuters, came hours after Ukraine's parliament said it would appeal to the council to call a session to consider the problems in Ukraine in the light of a 1993 understanding in which the big powers agreed to guarantee Ukrainian territorial integrity.

In its letter, Ukraine, which is not a member of the council, requested the right to participate in the meeting.

Yanukovych denies ordering protesters to be shot

Earlier former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych said he had not ordered police to shoot at protesters, adding that the responsibility for bloodshed in Kiev lay with the demonstrators.

At a news conference in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, Mr Yanukovych also said he was surprised that Russian President Vladimir Putin had said nothing in public about the past week's events in Ukraine.

He said he had not seen Mr Putin but had spoken to him by telephone during that time.

Mr Yanukovych said he intends to continue to struggle for the future of Ukraine, saying power was seized by "pro-fascist" forces.

He said the crisis is due to "irresponsible western" policy of "indulging" the protesters on Kiev's Independence Square.

Asked about his rival, former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who was released from jail last Saturday, Mr Yanukovych said he had never meant her any harm.

Elsewhere more than ten Russian military helicopters flew into Ukrainian airspace over the Crimea region, the Ukrainian border guard service said.

It also said in a statement that Russian servicemen were blocking off a unit of Ukrainian border guards in the port city of Sevastopol, where part of the Russian Black Sea fleet is based.

Russia's Black Sea fleet had earlier denied any role in the seizure of a military airport near Sevastopol.

Ukraine's interior minister said Russian forces have taken control of two airports in the Crimea region.

Arsen Avakov condemned the events as an armed invasion and occupation.

He said there had been no bloodshed or clashes when armed men, who he described as Russian naval forces, took over a military airport near the port of Sevastopol.

Mr Avakov said armed men representing Russia had also taken over Simferopol international airport without clashes.

"I consider what has happened to be an armed invasion and occupation in violation of all international agreements and norms," Mr Avakov said on his Facebook page.

He described it as an armed provocation and called for talks.

The armed men did not enter the passenger terminal and appear to be allowing the airport to function normally.

Reuters reported that the men, dressed in full battle gear and carrying assault rifles and machine guns, were moving freely in and out of the control tower.

It quoted one man as saying: "We are here to ensure general order. We don't want radicals coming on planes from Kiev.

"It was our initiative in order to stop the fire from spreading into Crimea. That's why we don't want radicalism to come here. We don't want fascism in Crimea. We want peace here."

Armed men yesterday stormed the regional parliament building and raised a Russian flag.

The developments come as the European Commission called for a political solution to tension in Crimea and urged all sides to show restraint.

"The situation in Crimea will require a political solution and this can only be achieved via dialogue amongst the different parties involved," a commission spokesman said.

"We want all relevant actors, all parties to be as moderate and restrained as possible ... and to respect the integrity and unity of Ukraine."

Meanwhile, Mr Putin has ordered his government to continue talks with Ukraine on economic and trade relations and to consult foreign partners, including the IMF and the G8, on financial aid.

Mr Putin has also ordered his government to consider a request from Crimea for humanitarian aid.

The US has told Russia to demonstrate in the next few days that it is sincere about a promise not to intervene in Ukraine, saying using force would be a grave mistake.

"We believe that everybody now needs to take a step back and avoid any kind of provocations," said US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Ukraine Acting President Says Russia Has Invaded Ukraine, As 2000 Russian Troops, Military Jets Arrive

By Tyler Durden

Here we go:


More from Interpretermag.com:

“Under the guise of military exercises, Russia has brought troops into the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. And not only have they seized the parliament of the Crimea, the Council of Ministers of the Crimea, they are trying to take civilian buildings under control, communications, and trying to block places where Ukrainian soldiers are based,” he said in an appeal to the nation.

“They are provoking us to military conflict. According to information from our intelligence, they are working out scenarios that are completely analogous to Abkhazia, when after provoking a conflict, they began annexation of territory,” the acting president emphasized.

At the same time, Ukraine Pravda is reporting that Russian military planes are now landing in the Crimea.


Russian airplanes are landing in Crimea from the direction of Russia, and a column of APCs is heading from the east toward Simferopol.



There are reports of at least 5 large IL-76 planes landing in the district of the military airfield in the town of Gvardeyskoye. 

Various sources are reporting that a column of 10 Russian APCs is heading from Sevastopol toward Simfereopol.


Interfax Ukraine reports that all air traffic is halted at the Belbek Airport in Sevastopol due to the seizure of the landing strip by unknown persons.

“There are about 400 people now in the Belbek airport. They have occpuied the landing strip and any movement of planes is stopped,” said a source.

And another video of the Russian APCs: considering the number of journalists standing by, it is as if they are on parade:

Finally. AFP reports:  


And more airplanes:

Some are using makeshift barricades and checkpoints to defend themselves: via Kyiv Post:

Is it starting?

Via Zero Hedge Thanks to Mike W for the tip

Obama Condemns Russia's Military Actions Inside Ukraine [Full Statement]
Obama: 'There will be costs' to Russian intervention in Ukraine



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