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Russia seizes control of new Ukraine base in Crimea

Pro-Ukrainian activists shout slogans during the rally in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on March 23, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ SERGEY BOBOK

KIEV: Russian troops on Monday seized control of a new Ukrainian military base in Crimea, throwing stun grenades and tying up the hands of Ukrainian marines, the Ukrainian defence ministry said.

The Russian troops stormed the naval base in Feodosia in eastern Crimea in the early hours of the morning, using armoured personnel carriers and stun grenades, the spokesman of the Ukrainian defence ministry for Crimea, Vladislav Seleznyov, wrote on his Facebook page.

Russian paratroopers also descended into the base from four helicopters hovering above, he added, without further specifying how.

He said that three Russian vehicles were then seen leaving the base carrying Ukrainian marines whose hands had been tied up. Smoke was also seen coming from the barracks.

Russia last week incorporated Crimea into its territory, in defiance of international anger, and Moscow has in the last days moved to ensure total military control over the peninsula.

Elite Russian troops firing into the air and backed by armoured vehicles had on Saturday stormed Ukraine's Belbek airbase in Crimea after earlier taking other bases as well as naval vessels.

 

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