Ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych gave a press conference in Russia today, and men in green camouflage took over parts of the civilian airport in Simferopol in Crimea; here’s the latest from William Booth in Simferopol, Will Englund in Kiev and Kathy Lally in Moscow.
Armed men took control of parts of the Crimean airport
The men had no insignia and carried military-style rifles; Ukraine’s Interior Minister said they were Russian troops. Flights kept operating.
— William Booth (@BoothWilliam) February 28, 2014
Putin finally spoke
The Russian president broke his week-long silence on Ukraine, ordering Russian officials to consult with other nations and the International Monetary Fund on financial assistance for the country. He also said Moscow would consider sending humanitarian supplies to Crimea.
And so did Yanukovych
The ousted president gave a news conference in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, near his home town of Donetsk, Ukraine. He blamed chaos in Ukraine on Western manipulation and said he was still the legitimate president. He said Russia should intervene — though he also said he wouldn’t ask for military intervention. He said he wouldn’t return to Ukraine till his security could be guaranteed.
Also, the Swiss and the Austrians moved to freeze assets of Yanukovych and his son, Aleksander, the Associated Press reports.
A legislator said Crimea isn’t trying to secede
Nestor Shufrych, from the same party as Yanukovych, said the region is just trying to broaden the terms of its current autonomous status, not break away. The new defense minister plans to travel there today.