Russia's military have started large-scale aviation exercises in western regions on Wednesday and have attacked the Ukrainian navy headquarters. Ukrainian Navy Commander Serhiy Haiduk was forcibly taken out of the Ukrainian Navy headquarters in Sevastopol in handcuffs, reports the Kyviv Post. His whereabouts are currently unknown.
CNN reported 300 armed Pro-Russians took the navy headquarters by force, raising the Russian flag. CNN is also reporting that Ukrainian soldiers have now been given permission to fire back if fired upon. Russia continues to insist that Crimea now falls under Russia’s rule, ignoring international law.
Al Jazeera America is reporting it has received unconfirmed reports that Russian forces have used a tractor to down the gates of yet another Ukrainian base - the Novozyornoe base.
Ukraine does not wish to see anymore bloodshed. First Deputy Prime Minister Vitaliy Yarema and Acting Defense Minister Ihor Teniukh were instructed by Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk to fly to Crimea to “prevent an escalation of the conflict,” according to Interfax-Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has also ordered Russian ministries raise the pensions paid in Crimean to that of the Russian level.
The European Commission released a statement yesterday stating the European Union (EU) will not recognize Crimea’s annexation. Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has also indicated support in a phone call to
“I condemn Russia's recognition of Crimea as a 'sovereign state'. A clear attempt to pave the way for the annexation of part of #Ukraine,” tweeted British Foreign Secretary William Hague.
Acting Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deschytsia, during which she reportedly stated her government’s position in “preserving the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” according to Interfax-Ukraine.
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