Russia Sets Ultimatum for Ukraine Forces to Surrender in Crimea
by Mary Chastain 3 Mar 2014, 10:39 AM PDT
Russia’s Black Sea Fleet told Ukrainian forces in Crimea they must surrender by 3 a.m. GMT or there will be military action against them. The BBC said they received confirmation of the ultimatum from Ukraine’s defense ministry.
Interim President Oleksandr Turchynov said Russia issued a similar ultimatum two days ago. It was set at 5 a.m. on March 2, and they did not storm any of the bases. Turchynov said the situation is still tense.
A U.S. official said as of Sunday night Russia is in complete control of Crimea, an autonomous republic of Ukraine. Last week, gunmen and Russian soldiers seized government buildings and the international airport. Late Saturday night, soldiers surrounded two Ukraine military bases, and new Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk ordered full military mobilization for war.
Russia also captured a ferry terminal in Kerch, which is only 12 miles to Russia by boat.
Ukraine’s new Navy head Denys Berezovsky defected in Crimea on Sunday. He was just appointed to the post on Saturday. The prosecutor general is investigating him for high treason, and Turchynov appointed Serhiy Haiduk as the new commander of the Ukrainian Navy.