Security chief: Ukraine controls Crimea airports

Associated Press
Unidentified gunmen wearing camouflage uniforms guard the entrance to the military airport at the Black Sea port of Sevastopol in Crimea, Ukraine, Friday, Feb. 28, 2014. Russian troops took control of the two main airports in the strategic peninsula of Crimea, Ukraine's interior minister charged Friday, as the country asked the U.N. Security Council to intervene in the escalating conflict. Russian state media said Russian forces in Crimea denied involvement. No violence was reported at the civilian airport in Crimea's capital of Simferopol or at the military airport in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, also part of Crimea. At the Simferopol airport, a man claiming to speak for the camouflage-clad forces patrolling the airport described them as Crimean militiamen. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
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SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (AP) — A top Ukrainian security official says two airports in Crimea are under Ukrainian control despite attempts by gunmen to "seize" them.

Ukraine's Interior Minister earlier Friday said Russian navy troops were blocking access to the airports in Simferopol and Sevastopol, describing it as a "military invasion and occupation."

But Ukraine's Security Council Chief Andriy Parubiy insisted later Friday that the airports were still under Ukrainian control, according to the Interfax news agency.

Parubiy said the gunmen had set up checkpoints outside the airports. "But de-facto the airports are controlled by the law enforcement bodies of Ukraine."

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