Ukrainian servicemen carry bags and a computer while leaving a military base in Perevalnoye, near the Crimean city of Simferopol, March 20, 2014. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
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Ukraine announced the evacuation of its troops and their families from Crimea on Monday, effectively acknowledging defeat in the face of Russian forces, who stormed one of the last remaining Ukrainian bases on the peninsula.Thousands of Ukrainian troops have been besieged on bases in Crimea, offering no armed resistance but refusing to surrender, since President Vladimir Putin declared Moscow's right to intervene at the start of the month.Ukrainian flags were taken down inside the base. Russian forces used similar tactics to take Ukraine's Belbek air base in Crimea on Saturday. Russian forces captured part of the Feodosia base, used by the 1st Separate Marine Battalion, Ukraine's top military unit, earlier this month.Ukrainian forces also abandoned a naval base after attacks by pro-Russian protesters, and had to surrender two flagship vessels to Russian forces over recent days as Moscow solidified its grip on Crimea.
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