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Russians Surround Ukraine Bases, Block 2 Ships

First we have this from the Agence France Presse:

Ukraine soldiers vow defiance as bases surrounded

By Michael Mainville with Max Delany in Belbek | March 3, 2014

Simferopol (Ukraine) (AFP) – Armed men wielding assault rifles surrounded more military bases as Russia tightened its grip on Crimea Monday, with nervous Ukrainian soldiers inside vowing not to abandon their posts. AFP reporters saw the armed men — who wore no insignia but who few doubted where Russian troops — surrounding military facilities across the flashpoint peninsula.

Once again, it is against international law for soldiers to not wear insignia. They are officially ‘terrorists.’ But our news media never mention this detail.

Ukrainian officials said Russian soldiers were still pouring into the region and had issued an ultimatum to Ukrainian troops to surrender, which Russia denied. Inside the Belbek administrative base of the Sevastopol tactical aviation brigade, dozens of tense Ukrainian officers were standing their ground, as troops they said were Russian special forces camped out nearby…

If an assault did come no one doubted the outcome. Only a few of the officers on the base carried automatic weapons, some had handguns, most were unarmed.

The servicemen knew they would not be able to prevent heavily armed opponents breaking through the base’s wrought-iron fencing. "We’re just not prepared to face up to the Russian special forces," said captain Andrei Matchenko. "This isn’t what we are trained or equipped for." …

AFP reporters said that armed men had also surrounded the Ukrainian military base in Bakhchisaray, about 30 kilometres (20 miles) southwest of the Crimean regional capital Simferopol. About 20 soldiers were visible around the small base, which Ukrainian media said contained a navy provisions centre…

Elsewhere, AFP reporters said hundreds of armed men continued a tense standoff with Ukrainian soldiers at Perevalne, which hosts the 36th Coast Guard Brigade about 30 kilometres southeast of Simferopol. The armed men had approached the base early on Sunday and demanded its surrender but the Ukrainian soldiers inside refused…

Once again, no one in the news media ever mentions that Ukraine cannot defend itself because it gutted its army and did away with it formidable nuclear deterrent, based on assurances by Russia and the US (as well as UK, France and China) that their territory would be inviolate — including Crimea.

By the way, Bill Clinton signed those assurances for the US. And they were reaffirmed in 2009 by the Obama administration.

Meanwhile, there is this from the Associated Press:

Ukraine: Russia demands that 2 warships surrender

By DAVID McHUGH and DALTON BENNETT | March 3, 2014

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia issued an ultimatum Monday, demanding that the crew of two Ukrainian warships in Crimea immediately surrender or be stormed and seized, a Ukrainian military spokesman said.

Four Russian navy ships in Sevastopol harbor were blocking the Ukrainian anti-submarine warship Ternopil and the command ship Slavutych from leaving the dock, waiting for their commanders’ responses, spokesman Maksim Prauta said…

Elsewhere on the strategic peninsula, Russian troops controlled all Ukrainian border posts Monday in Crimea, as well as all military facilities and a key ferry terminal. Now, fears in Kiev and beyond were that Russia might target and seize other parts of Ukraine, in particular parts of its pro-Russian east, the country’s industrial powerhouse and agricultural breadbasket…

In addition to seizing barracks and border posts, troops also controlled a ferry terminal in the Ukrainian city of Kerch, just 20 kilometers (12 miles) across the water from Russia. That intensified fears in Kiev that Moscow will send even more troops into the peninsula via that route.

Border guard spokesman Sergei Astakhov said the Russians were demanding that Ukrainian soldiers and guards transfer their allegiance to Crimea’s new pro-Russian local government.

"The Russians are behaving very aggressively. They came in by breaking down doors, knocking out windows, cutting off every communication," he said.

He said four Russian military ships, 13 helicopters and 8 transport planes had arrived in Crimea in violation of agreements that permit Russian to keep its Black Sea fleet at the naval base in Sevastopol…

Doesn’t the United States still have a navy? Wouldn’t now be a good time for the Sixth Fleet to pay a visit to our Ukrainian friends in Sevastopol? Or is that 19th century thinking?

And then there is this, from an unfazed Reuters:

Crimean authorities to cut power, water to Ukrainian troops: Russian ex-lawmaker

By Andrew Osborn | March 3, 2014

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) – Pro-Russian authorities in Crimea will cut off water and electricity to Ukrainian soldiers in bases surrounded by Russian forces on Monday night, a Russian former lawmaker loyal to President Vladimir Putin said.

Sergei Markov, who held meetings with pro-Russian authorities on the Ukrainian peninsula earlier on Monday, told reporters the soldiers would also be told they would not receive their next pay packet if they did not publicly renounce their loyalty to the new provisional government in Kiev, the capital.

"If they stay here and remain loyal to Kiev and the Ukrainian government, it will become more uncomfortable for them," said Markov, who sits in a Kremlin-backed public policy chamber. "The pressure is going to increase tonight."

Of course, this really isn’t anything new. Putin has been cutting off Ukraine’s gas and oil, or charging them exorbitant rates, whenever he wanted to make them toe the line. It’s what thugs do.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, March 4th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Russians Surround Ukraine Bases, Block 2 Ships”

  1. Why do I think this whole business is staged? Agreed to and plotted long ago? Is part of a much bigger picture? Caught our intelligence network flat footed? Say what? After their long long history of abuse by Russia Ukrainians didn’t see this possibility coming? No troops responding? No armed resistance? Dilly dallying like school girls trying to decide which skirt to wear?

    C’mon.




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