Armed men in unmarked uniforms patrol top Crimea airport in Ukraine; tensions with Russia high

Dozens of armed men in military uniforms without markings are patrolling the airport in the capital of Ukraine's strategic Crimea region.

An Associated Press photographer saw men armed with assault rifles Friday morning at the Simferopol airport.

It was not immediately clear who the men were. They refused to talk to journalists.

On Thursday, masked gunmen with rocket-propelled grenades and sniper rifles raised the Russian flag over the parliament building in Simferopol.

The events in the Crimea region have heightened tensions with neighboring Russia. It scrambled fighter jets on Thursday to patrol borders in the first stirrings of a potentially dangerous confrontation reminiscent of Cold War brinksmanship.

Russia also has granted shelter to Ukraine's fugitive president, Viktor Yanukovych, who has a news conference scheduled Friday near the Ukrainian border.