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Ukrainian troops dispatched in Crimea switch to region’s side – sources

Published time: March 02, 2014 09:27
Edited time: March 02, 2014 16:22

Reuters/Gleb Garanich

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Ukrainian armed forces dispatched to Crimea have switched to the side of local authorities and are expected to take military oath soon, Russian news agencies report.

Facts you need to know about Crimea and why it is in turmoil

Today the majority of the Ukrainian armed forces deployed in Crimea passed to the side of the authorities of the Crimean autonomous region. The transition was absolutely peaceful, without a single shot fired either by the military or by the forces of self-defense,” an unnamed source told RIA Novosti news agency.

The source added that some of the servicemen also ran away, while some submitted letters of resignation.

The local military have not been paid for many months, the source also told RIA Novosti.

Newly appointed Navy Chief rear admiral Denis Berezovsky has sworn allegiance to the people of Crimea, the news agency reported.

“I, Berezovsky Denis, swear allegiance to the Crimean people and pledge to protect it, as required by the [army] regulations,” he said.

Earlier, Ukrainian troops in Crimea were said to be resigning on a massive scale. Living quarters, weapons and ammunition have all been left under the protection of the so-called ‘self-defense forces.’

Letters of resignation have been coming in since early morning, as the self-defense forces continue to preserve order on the streets of Simferopol, RIA Novosti said citing own reporters on the ground.

Since Thursday, the city’s Supreme Council and a number of other buildings have been occupied and guarded by the self-defense forces run by the local population.

Crimea’s deputy prime minister, Rustam Temirgaliev, announced that the Ukrainian armed forces have all but surrendered their military capabilities and that no active units remain in the Crimea.

"The entire Ukrainian armed forces stationed on the Crimean territory have been blocked," Interfax reported him as saying. "The self-defense forces have taken control of the landing strips of all the Crimean airports and airfields."

The deputy PM said that that the region’s security services and emergency services now report to the local government.

Crimeans began protesting after the new self-imposed government in Kiev introduced a law abolishing the use of other languages for official documents in Ukraine. More than half the Crimean population are Russian and use only this language for their communication. The residents have announced they are going to hold a referendum on March 30 to determine the fate of the Ukrainian autonomous region.

Comments (626)

 

Robert Miller 03.04.2014 20:32

Traitors, warrant for their executions for treason should be issued immediately.

 

Chris Encinas 15.03.2014 01:21

Strickland333 13.03.2014 09:58

[quote name='Sergio good']
These people want to be Russian, they want to fly the flag of their choosing. There is no lie there. Second look up the Black Sea navy, Crimea, Sevastopol, Odessa during WW2. If the people want to be Russian and fly the Russian flag so be it.

  


Ri ght. The same way that the people of Chechnya don't want to live under the Russian flag. So Russia should just secede Chechnya to the Chechens if ethnic alignment is so important to them. Quite the hypocrisy.

 

Strickland333 13.03.2014 09:58

[quote name='Sergio good']
LIES? Look at are own country and tell me about lies, cover-ups, corruption. These people want to be Russian, they want to fly the flag of their choosing. There is no lie there. Second look up the Black Sea navy, Crimea, Sevastopol, Odessa during WW2. Just by most of your bias opinions prove your narrow minded and shrouded by our American media and education. America and Europe should back out of their issues. If the people want to be Russian and fly the Russian flag so be it. Russians payed in blood for that land, they made the Crimea what it is. I'm all for what Russia is doing.

View all comments (626)
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