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Russians Seize More Crimean Facilities, Demand Ukrainians Surrender

Posted by on Monday, March 3rd, 2014 @ 10:23 am.

By ALEX MARQUARDT

GOOD MORNING AMERICA

ABC News 

March 3, 2014

Armed men patrol outside Simferopol airport

Photo courtesy of www.theguardian.com

Russian forces seized two more Ukrainian facilities in Crimea today as others surrounded Ukrainian military bases, demanding their surrender.

In Balaklava, a picturesque coastal town on the Black Sea, pro-Russian troops were in control of Coast Guard base today. The seizure marked the end of a week of peaceful negotiations, a Russian man speaking for the troops told ABC News. In the end those on the base who did not want to side with Russia left after laying down their weapons.

A captain in Balaklava’s port said that until a few days ago, a Russian naval ship had blocked the mouth of the port, giving Ukrainian naval ships the choice to leave or defect. Most, around 15, left for Odessa while a handful remained.

In Kerch, the easternmost point in Crimea, a ferry terminal was taken by pro-Russian troops today, the Associated Press reported.

Over the past few days, highly-organized and heavily-armed troops believed to be Russians – but bearing no identifying patches - have encircled Ukrainian bases, demanding they surrender.

The deputy commander of a naval operations base in the Crimean capital Simferopol told ABC News on Sunday that Russian forces had twice asked he and his men to leave but so far they have refused. His orders were to stand firm, he said, adding that they have weapons and are ready to fight.

But there have been no clashes so far, Russia managing to take control of Crimea without firing a shot. The airports, parliament and other government buildings are under the control of the militias.

So far, Ukraine's new government and the West have appeared powerless to counter Russia's tactics. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk insisted that Crimea remains Ukrainian territory despite the presence of Russian military.

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Posted by on Mar 3 2014. Filed under Russia, World News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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