PRO-MOSCOW activists have overrun the Ukrainian navy’s headquarters in Sevastopol with no shots fired, Ukrainian navy spokesman Sergiy Bogdanov says.
“There are about 200 of them, some wearing balaclavas. They are unarmed and no shots have been fired from our side,’’ Bogdanov said.
“The officers have barricaded themselves inside the building and negotiations are ongoing.
“Even though we have the authorisation to use weapons in self-defence, we are not doing so and will not do so,” he said.
A report on Russia’s state news agency ITAR-TASS said that the activists had raised a Russian flag over the naval headquarters.
The report said the activists had been protesting outside the navy base and then broke in by cutting through the fence.
Earlier, shots were fired and two soldiers died in a firefight that threatens to mark the start of the next Crimean War — with Ukraine ordering its soldiers to “respond in kind” after pro-Russian troops took first blood overnight.
After weeks of the two sides facing off, the skirmish came suddenly.
And amid the confusion are claims of a mystery third force picking off members of both sides — claims that may well turn out to be propaganda.
This is what happened.
The location was a Ukrainian military base in Crimea’s main city, Simferopol, which has been surrounded by pro-Russian militia since Moscow’s “velvet invasion” of the contested province began three weeks ago.
Nobody has been allowed anyone in or out of the facility, with two dozen loyal Ukraine solders trapped there ever since.
The opening move seemed almost routine under the siege-like conditions.
Late yesterday, a truck flying the Russian flag was seen speeding up the main road towards the base…. see more