Crimean airports standoff leaves passengers unfazed

Now Reading:

Crimean airports standoff leaves passengers unfazed

Text size Aa Aa

Everyone it seems is getting uptight about the airports seizure in Crimea, but while it may be unsettling for travelers to have mysterious armed men wandering around, few are showing it.

Indeed, it seems uppermost in their minds are travel delays.

“I am not afraid of anything. Why should we fear the armed people? We have been afraid a lot. Ukraine has been through a period when we were afraid. It is not the case anymore,” said one traveller.

“I am not afraid. Because I hope there will not be any military actions. At least I hope for that,” said a woman waiting for a flight for Turkey.

“Generally in peacetime, in a normal country it’s a bit wild that armed people are stationed near a civil building. But this is maybe justified by what is happening in Ukraine. Compared to Kyiv here it’s calm. No one is shouting. There is no fear. Everything is ok,” insisted another man.

The identities of the armed men remains unknown. Russia’s ambassador to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, said they are not Russian but from what he called “self-defence groups of Crimea”.

A man called Vladimir, who said he was a volunteer helping the group, told Reuters: “I’m with the People’s Militia of Crimea. We’re simple people, volunteers … We’re here at the airport to maintain order. We’ll meet the planes with a nice smile – the airport is working as normal.”

Witnesses at the airport have told the euronews reporter there Sergio Cantone that they are Russian soldiers.

“The stakes are much higher for Ukraine than what is going on here in Crimea. Separatism is a strong card that could be used in order to put pressure on the new government in Kyiv that is not being recognised by Moscow,” he reports from Simferopol.