Russia seizes additional Ukrainian naval base in Crimea
Russian forces have reportedly taken control of another Ukrainian naval base in Crimea, soon after storming a headquarters in the Crimean port of Sevastopol, where they raised their flag.
Ukrainian naval officer major Eduard Kusnarenko said that the Russian military attacked the naval transportation facility in Bakhchisaray, 30km south-west of the regional capital Simferopol.
However, Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu has asked the authorities in Crimea to release Ukrainian Navy head admiral Serhiy Haiduk, who was detained by forces after attacking the fleet headquarters, and allow him safe passage out of the region, Reuter reported.
Meanwhile. Ukraine is planning to pull its military forces and their families out quickly and efficiently from Crimea as more Ukrainian bases were seized by Russian troops on Wednesday.
Agence France Press cited Ukraine national security and defence council head Andriy Parubiy as saying to reporters in Kiev: "We are developing a plan that would enable us not only to withdraw servicemen but also members of their families in Crimea, so that they could be quickly and efficiently moved to mainland Ukraine."
Itar-Tass news agency cited Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov as saying that the legal process will be completed this week to make Crimea part of Russia, two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty to annex Crimea.
"Practical steps are being taken to implement the agreements on the entry of Crimea and (the Crimean port city of) Sevastopol into Russia," Lavrov added.