Shots fired, officer taken from Ukraine base in Crimea

By REUTERS
March 18, 2014 12:59

 
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KIEV - Armed men came to a Ukrainian military airfield in the Crimean peninsula, fired shots in the air and took away the base's commanding officer, a military spokesman said on Tuesday.

The incident late on Monday at Belbek airport just outside the naval port of Sevastopol came one day after the southern Ukrainian region voted in a referendum to join Russia in a vote branded by Ukraine and the West as illegitimate.

"Unknown armed people came to the base late on Monday, shots were fired in the air and the commanding officer was taken away in an unknown direction," Vladislav Seleznov, a Ukrainian military spokesman, told Reuters.

In a separate incident on Tuesday, a group of about 30 members of the so-called 'Crimean Self-Defense' came to a compound of apartment blocks that houses families of Ukrainian servicemen and took its commander away, Seleznov said.

"They were there about 30 minutes ... They took away the commander of the compound, Lt. Colonel Vladislav Nechiporenko, in a yellow mini-van," he said.

The two incidents could not be independently verified.

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