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Fri March 7, 2014
Brief Standoff Over Ukrainian Base In Crimea Ends Peacefully
Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 3:46 pm
A tense standoff Friday between pro-Russian troops and Ukrainian forces at a missile-defense base in Crimea is reportedly over without a shot being fired.
Russia's Interfax news agency reported that a Russian military truck had smashed through the gate of the Ukrainian base in Sevastopol, the port city that is home to Russia's Black Sea fleet.
Interfax, quoted by The Associated Press, says about 100 Ukrainian troops are stationed at the base and about 20 "attackers" entered, some throwing stun grenades, the report said.
The Ukrainians barricaded themselves inside one of their barracks, Interfax said.
The BBC says "the assailants and lorries reportedly left after negotiations."
"Crimea's pro-Russia premier, Sergei Aksyonov, was asked about the incident during a political chat show shown live on Ukrainian television and said all was calm at the military post."
"Referring to the [armed attackers] as 'self-defence units,' he indicated the standoff was over, adding: 'Now the self-defence units are surrounded by journalists. There are no attempts to attack.'"
"A Ukrainian military official told Reuters at the post that the armed group inside had not seized any [of the base's] weapons."
"Russian forces have taken over some military installations and other buildings on the peninsula, where Russia's Black Sea Fleet has a base, but both sides have held their fire."
According to the BBC:
"Troops wearing Russian uniform without insignia have blockaded bases since taking control of Crimea last week."
"Some military installations and other buildings in the peninsula have been taken over, but both sides have so far held their fire."