Pro-Russian Force Seizes Military Airport in Ukraine's Crimea, Official Says

Civilian group, wielding sticks and clubs, blocks off the entrance to the airport.

An armed pro-Russian force wearing military uniforms bearing no designated markings sealed off another military airport in Ukraine's Crimea on Sunday, a defense 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.