Pro-Russia militia seize government buildings in Ukraine’s Crimea

February 27, 2014 | By | Reply More

Feb 27, Kiev  – Ukraine’s acting president said that if Russian forces leave their base in the strategic peninsula that “will be considered a military aggression.” Russia maintains a large naval base in southern Crimea that has strained relations between the countries for two decades.

hromedia Pro-Russia militia seize government buildings in Ukraine's Crimea eu news2Ukraine put its police on high alert after dozens of pro-Russia gunmen stormed and seized local government buildings in Ukraine’s Crimea region early Thursday and raised a Russian flag over a barricade.

The renewed tension in the peninsula that houses Russia’s Black Sea fleet comes as lawmakers in Kiev were expected to approve the new government in the wake of the president fleeing the capital after months of protests over his decision to scuttle an agreement with the European Union in favor of stronger ties with Russia.

Russia has questioned the legitimacy of the new Ukrainian authorities after pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych fled last week, and it has accused them of failing to control radicals who threaten the Russia-speaking population in Ukraine’s east and south, which includes the Crimean Peninsula.

The men occupying the local parliament building did not immediately voice any demands but threw a flash grenade in response to a journalist’s questions. They wore black and orange ribbons, a Russian symbol of the victory in World War II, and put up a sign saying “Crimea is Russia.”

Maxim, a pro-Russian activist who refused to give his last name, said he and other activists had camped out overnight outside the local parliament in Crimea’s regional capital, Simferopol, when heavily armed men wearing flak jackets, and holding rocket-propelled grenade launchers and sniper rifles took over the building.

Press coordinator for HRO media – Norberto Lluch contributed to this report.

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Category: European Crises

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