Armed men patrol airport grounds in Ukraine's Crimea, say airport operating normally

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:45am EST

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine Feb 28 (Reuters) - Armed men who took control of the airport in Ukraine's Crimean regional centre of Simferopol on Friday are patrolling the airport grounds but have not moved into the passenger terminal and appear to be allowing the airport to function normally.

A Reuters eyewitness at the scene said the men, dressed in full battle gear and carrying assault rifles and machine guns, were moving freely in an out of the control tower.

A man called Vladimir, who said he was a volunteer helping the group, said: "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."

He added that though he and other volunteers supported the actions of the armed men they did not know where the group was from.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Find your dream retirement town

Florida? Hawaii? Reuters has teamed up with Zillow to give you the power to customize a list of your best places to retire.  Video | Full Article