MARIUPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) – Pro-Russian separatists attacked a base of the Ukrainian national guard in an eastern city overnight and Kiev said three of the militants were killed, bloodshed likely to overshadow crisis talks in Geneva.
Ukrainian, Russian and Western diplomats arrived for the emergency talks in Switzerland, but there was little hope of any progress in resolving a crisis that has seen armed pro-Russian fighters seize whole swathes of Ukraine.
YALTA/SIMFEROPOL, Crimea (Reuters) – A few months ago, 2014 looked like it might shape up as a decent year for Crimean tour operator Gulzade Odamanova, who even had a few dozen overseas bookings on her calendar from Germans, Poles and the occasional Italian.
But after the picturesque Black Sea peninsula was seized by Russian troops this month, all of the foreigners canceled.
SEVASTOPOL, Crimea (Reuters) – An airbase commander who has become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance in Crimea was released by Russian forces after being “illegally” detained, Ukraine’s acting president said on Wednesday.
The freeing of Colonel Yuliy Mamchur, along with three fellow officers, follows Russia’s takeover of the last military ship controlled by Ukraine in Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula whose largely bloodless annexation Ukraine refuses to recognize.
THE HAGUE/FEODOSIA, Crimea (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama and major industrialized allies warned Russia on Monday it faced damaging economic sanctions if President Vladimir Putin takes further action to destabilize Ukraine following the seizure of Crimea.
Leaders of the Group of Seven nations, meeting without Russia, agreed to hold their own summit this year instead of attending a planned G8 meeting in the Russian Olympic venue of Sochi, along the Black Sea coast from Crimea, and to suspend their participation in the G8 until Russia changes course.
THE HAGUE/FEODOSIA, Crimea (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama sought support from European allies and China on Monday to isolate Russia over its seizure of Crimea, and Ukraine told its remaining troops to leave the region after Russian forces overran one of Kiev’s last bases there.
Obama, who has imposed tougher sanctions on Moscow than European leaders over its takeover of the Black Sea peninsula, will seek backing for his firm line at a meeting with other leaders of the G7 – a group of industrialized nations that excludes Russia, which joined in 1998 to form the G8.
FEODOSIA/SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine, March 24 (Reuters) – Ukraine
announced the evacuation of its troops and their families from
Crimea on Monday, effectively acknowledging defeat in the face
of Russian forces, who stormed one of the last remaining
Ukrainian bases on the peninsula.
Thousands of Ukrainian troops have been besieged on bases in
Crimea, offering no armed resistance but refusing to surrender,
since President Vladimir Putin declared Moscow’s right to
intervene at the start of the month.
THE HAGUE/FEODOSIA, Ukraine, March 24 (Reuters) – - U.S.
President Barack Obama began crisis talks with his European
allies on Monday after Ukraine announced the evacuation of its
troops from Crimea, effectively yielding the region to Russian
forces which stormed one of Kiev’s last bases there.
Obama, who has imposed tougher sanctions on Moscow than
European leaders over its seizure of the Black Sea peninsula,
will seek support for his firm line at a meeting with other
leaders of the G7 – a group of industrialised nations that
excludes Russia, which joined in 1998 to form the G8.
FEODOSIA, Ukraine (Reuters) – Russian troops forced their way into a Ukrainian marine base in the Crimean port city of Feodosia early on Monday, overrunning one of the few symbols of resistance left after Moscow wrestled the peninsula away from Kiev, defending soldiers inside said.
The Russians used stun grenades and fired automatic weapons as they charged in, a Ukrainian military official said. Ukrainian flags had been taken down from flagpoles inside the base.
BRUSSELS/FEODOSIA, Ukraine (Reuters) – NATO’s top military commander said on Sunday Russia had built up a “very sizeable” force on its border with Ukraine and Moscow may have a region in another ex-Soviet republic, Moldova, in its sights after annexing Crimea.
Russia was acting more like an adversary than a partner, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove said, and the 28-nation alliance should rethink the positioning and readiness of its forces in eastern Europe.
FEODOSIA, Ukraine (Reuters) – Their base has been overrun and their region annexed by Russia but the Ukrainian soldiers at Feodosia in Crimea are not giving up yet.
The Ukrainian flag and its marine standard fly alongside the Russian tricolor put up by the forces which seized the base of the 1st Separate Marine Battalion, Ukraine’s top military unit, earlier this month, as Russia took over the Black Sea peninsula.