Russian troops seize Ukraine naval base in Crimea

355850_Marine-base-FeodosiaRussian troops have taken over a Ukrainian marine base in the Crimean port of Feodosia as pro-Russians have been seizing Ukrainian military facilities for several days in the Black Sea peninsula.

Ukrainian military official, First Lieutenant Anatoly Mozgovoy, confirmed that the base was seized early on Monday, adding there were shots fired inside the facility and that the Ukrainian soldiers were unarmed.

The base in Feodosia city was one of the few military buildings still flying the Ukrainian flag after Crimea re-joined the Russian Federation last week.

On March 22, a group of pro-Russian armed men captured the blockaded vessel Slavutich in Sevastopol port city in southwest Crimea.

On the same day, pro-Russian forces stormed a Ukrainian air force base in Crimea. Gunfire and explosions could be heard at the Belbek air base, just outside Sevastopol, as armored personnel carriers broke down the gate after an ultimatum given to the Ukrainian troops came to an end.

According to the commander of Belbek airbase, Yuliy Mamchur, one Ukrainian was injured in the takeover of the base, which had been one of the last military facilities in Crimea still under the Ukrainian control.

On March 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law the documents officially making Crimea part of the Russian territory. Putin said the move was carried out based on the international law.

Putin also signed legislation creating two new Russian administrative districts — Crimea and the port city of Sevastopol.

Earlier, Russia’s lower house of parliament and the Federation Council upper house had overwhelmingly put their stamps at the integration of Crimea into the Russian Federation.

Crimea declared independence from Ukraine on March 17 and formally applied to become part of Russia following a referendum a day earlier, in which 96.8 percent of the participants voted in favor of the move. The voter turnout in the referendum stood at 83.1 percent.

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