Russian Troops Take Over Third Ukrainian Naval Base

World | March 24, 2014, Monday // 09:35| Views: | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Russian Troops Take Over Third Ukrainian Naval Base A soldier guarding Ukraine's navy base near Feodosia. The photo is taken when Ukraine's flag was still hoisted over the building, Photo by EPA/BGNES

Russia's troops have seized control of a naval base near Crimea's city of Feodosia.

Over the past 48 hours, this was the third successful Russian assault of a Ukrainian base on the Crimean peninsula.

It leaves all Ukrainian bases in the region, which was incorporated into the Russian Federation last week, under control by Moscow.

Belbek airbase to the south of Crimea was also taken over on Saturday, with its commander, Colonel Yuli Mamchur, reportedly missing.

Russian defense officials quoted by the BBC have declared that Russia's flag is now waving at 189 military units and facilities across Crimea.

Last week, the EU and the US imposed sanctions to Russian and Crimean officials over the standoff on the Crimean peninsula, which officially broke away from Ukraine to become part of Russia.

Tensions heightened further in Europe on Sunday as NATO warned of a gathering of Russian soldiers on Ukraine's eastern borders that could carry out an operation all the way to Moldova.

The region of Transnistria, a land west of Ukraine belonging to Moldova but claiming it is part of Russia, repeated earlier its long-standing request to join the Russian Federation.

NATO officials declared that the build-up of Russian troops constituted a threat to other post-Soviet states.

Emergency G7 talks are expected on Monday in the Netherlands, in which leaders of top economies are to discuss the crisis.

Russia, which was formerly part of the club known as G8 over the past decade and a half, was suspended over its involvement in Crimea.

In Ukraine itself, the government raised fears that military phase of the conflict with Russia could be well under way. National secirity chief Andriy Parubiy was quoted by Al Jazeera as saying that "the aim of Putin is not Crimea but all of Ukraine" and that his troops at the eastern Ukrainian border "are ready to attack at any moment".

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