Journalists reporting from the Ukraine have been live-tweeting throughout a Russian assault on the Belbek air base on March 22 under the hashtags #belbek and #ukraine. Ian Panell from the BBC has tweeted that the media were corralled during the attack.
Russian troops take control of Belbek airbase in #Crimea. Media are corralled by troops, some equipt confiscated. pic.twitter.com/EREehCYN7U
Journalists reported that the Russian troops were attempting to seize memory cards and even subjected the media to being searched. Apparently, they did not want the afternoon's events to be reported, but thanks to social media, the news was already out in word and image.
Belbek was the last airbase that was still under Ukrainian control after the Russian takeover. The Christian Science Monitor reports that Russian troops entered the gates in armored personnel carriers with grenades and gunfire. Several reporters have tweeted that Col. Mamchur was taken prisoner after a stirring rendition of the Ukranian National Anthem.
While Twitter reports are often later shown to be preliminary in the assessment of events, this instant social media outlet still provides an amazing first-hand account in real time.
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