Did Ukraine Just Surrender Crimea?

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
March 19 2014 7:36 PM

Crimea Moves Further Under Russian Control as Ukraine Pulls Its Military

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An Ukrainian officer leaves as Russian soldiers patrol at the Ukrainian naval headquarters in the Crimean city of Sevastopol on March 19, 2014.

Photo by VIKTOR DRACHEV/AFP/Getty Images

Despite U.S. and EU objections, Crimea is moving further away from Ukraine’s control day by day. Today Ukraine announced plans to pull its military personnel from the region, surrendering – at least in a military sense – to Russia.

The decision came after a tense day of confrontations between Russian and Ukrainian forces at several naval bases on the peninsula. Pro-Russian forces took over Ukraine’s naval headquarters as well as two other facilities and positioned themselves outside a fourth. The commander of the Ukrainian Navy was also reportedly detained for questioning. Here’s the Washington Post with the details:

Ukrainian military spokesman Vladislav Seleznyov said the commander and some other officers and staff were hurt during a scuffle at a military meteorological unit near the town of Yevpatoria, but those were the only reported injuries. He would not specify how many military installations in Crimea remain under Ukrainian control.
At the naval headquarters in Sevastopol, about 200 attackers rammed through the gate of the office complex in a truck and raised the tricolor Russian flag.
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As for civilians, Russia has begun to issue passports for Crimean residents, who, according to Moscow, became Russian citizens on Tuesday. Kiev is working on plans to evacuate Crimeans that want to relocate to Ukraine’s mainland.

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