Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol denies sending ultimatum to Ukrainian navy. Russian President Vladimir Putin claims that he has the right to send troops if he chooses. According to the Washington Post on Mar. 4, Putin has not yet done so.
But he also asserted that the troops wearing unmarked uniforms in Crimea are local self-defense groups — not Russian forces, as observers on the scene have said.
Earlier the Russian Black Sea Fleet was said to have set an ultimatum for Ukrainian leaders to surrender by 5 p.m. local time on Monday, but that deadline passed. At 7 p.m. they were expected to attack and that time came and went without incident. It appears so far that there was no "ultimatum" as previously claimed. The Russians denial appears to have some truth to it.
The local self-defense troops are patrolling and performing inspections in the Crimea. So far they have seized explosives, ammunition and weapons. They are in place to preserve order in the region.
"As to the Russian military who are in the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol, they always strictly follow the agreements on the basis of which the Russian fleet is present on this territory and the positions and requests made by the legitimate administration of Ukraine...
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