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Ukraine Calls Armed Militants Taking over Crimean Airports an ‘Armed Invasion’

Armed militants in the ethnically Russian Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea captured two airports overnight just hours before the country’s deposed president, Viktor Yanukovich, is scheduled to hold a press conference in Russia. Russia has insisted that it has nothing to do with the paramilitary forces taking over the airports, in spite of the fact that Russian armed forces are conducting snap drills just across the border. Nevertheless, Ukraine’s interior minister is calling the latest provocation an “armed invasion.”

CBS News reporter Clarissa Ward reported on Friday that the militants are insisting that they want to prevent “radicals” from the country’s capital, Kiev, traveling to Crimea. Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov wrote on his Facebook page that the incursion amounts to an “armed invasion and occupation” and “a direct military provocation on sovereign Ukrainian territory.”

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Yanukovich will hold a press conference in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, near the Ukrainian border on Friday. The ousted former president of Ukraine has already declared the country’s interim government illegitimate. Ukraine has asked Russia to extradite Yanukovich who is wanted in Kiev on charges relating to the murder of anti-government protesters.

“I want people to kill him, because he is not a human,” one young Ukrainian woman told Ward. “He’s a monster.”

Watch the report below via CBS News:

[Photo via screen grab ]

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An experienced broadcaster and columnist, Noah Rothman has been providing political opinion and analysis to a variety of media outlets since 2010. His work has appeared in a number of political opinion journals, and he has shared his insights with television and radio personalities across the country.