The Ukrainian Navy’s Black Sea headquarters in the Crimean port of Sevastopol has been reportedly stormed by the pro-Russian self-defence forces a day after a treaty was signed to annex the Ukrainian peninsula.
Ukraine has ordered its soldiers in Crimea to use weapons to defend themselves following an attack at the base that killed one Ukrainian soldier, according to acting president Oleksander Turchinov’s press service.
Following the attack, the defence ministry announced: "In connection with the death of a Ukrainian serviceman… Ukrainian troops in Crimea have been allowed to use weapons to defend and protect the lives of Ukrainian servicemen."
Ukraine troops deployed on the Black Sea peninsula, which was by taken over by the Russian forces three weeks ago, were until now told to avoid using arms against attack. Meanwhile, Crimean authorities have told Ukrainian soldiers to leave military installations on the peninsula, including several bases, claiming they are illegal.
Russia’s signing of treaty also attracted criticism from the Western countries, including the UK, which has announced suspension of ‘all bilateral military co-operation [with Russia] not subject to treaty obligations’.
UK has also announced cancellation of a planned French-Russian-UK-US naval exercise and suspension of a proposed Royal Navy ship visit to St Petersburg, Reuters reports citing UK Foreign Secretary, William Hague.