Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Seizing Additional Bases, Russia Cements Control in Crimea

At the Washington Post, "Russia cites ‘chaos’ in eastern Ukraine; gunmen storm bases in Crimea":

SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine — Russia and its sympathizers seized control of more Ukrainian military bases and facilities in Crimea on Monday while Moscow issued threatening statements about eastern Ukraine that signaled Russia’s intention to play a significant role in the country’s future.

At least four Ukrainian military bases, including one stocked with missiles, were overrun by armed men in uniforms who say they are members of local self-defense units, which are typically under the command of Russian military officers. The headquarters of the Ukrainian naval fleet had its electricity cut, and the director of a military hospital was ousted and a replacement installed by the pro-Russian militia that took over.

A foreboding sense of lawlessness is spreading ahead of a Sunday referendum in Crimea on whether to align with Russia or remain with Ukraine. Several activists critical of Russia’s presence in the Crimean region were reported missing. Residents of the regional capital, Simferopol, reported being visited by groups that stole or destroyed their passports, which are required as identification to vote...
More at that top link, at at the Los Angeles Times, "NATO reconnaissance planes to monitor Ukraine crisis."