Ukraine has admitted defeat after Russian forces stormed into their remaining bases in Crimea. On Monday, Ukrainian troops and their families started pulling out of Crimea. According to Reuters, thousands of Ukrainian troops are trapped on bases in the peninsula. They didn’t offer any armed resistance, but were not willing to surrender. The evacuation by Ukrainian forces began only a few hours after Kiev announced it would pull back its troops and their forces from the region.
Ukraine lowers its flag
A large number of troops from a marine base that was seized Monday morning gathered at an assembly point about 1000 meters away from the base. Many of them were in combat uniforms, while some were in civilian clothes with their families. One marine told Reuters that Russia and Ukraine agreed Sunday that Kiev will lower their flag, and Russians would raise theirs on Monday. Despite the agreement, Russian forces started firing live ammunition. Ukranians had no ammunition. One marine cried and blamed the Ukraine government for the chaotic end.
Russia officially annexed Crimea last week. In the past few days, its forces seized the last few Ukrainian bases. Ukraine’s acting president Oleksander Turchinov said that the Defense Ministry has been instructed to carry out a redeployment of troops in Crimea. On Monday, Russian forces, backed by two helicopters, stormed into the marine base in the port of Feodosia, which was considered Ukraine’s last symbol of resistance. Ukrainian flags were taken down immediately inside the base.
Russia-Ukraine conflict the beginning of the World War III?
The seizure of Crimea by Vladimir Putin has triggered a severe East-West crisis, the links of which hasn’t been seen since the cold war. Many predict that it could be the beginning of the World War III. Ukraine fears that Russia, after taking control over Crimea, may go for a full-fledged attack on Kiev. NATO has warned that a further attack on Ukraine by Russia will have grave consequences.
Russia officially annexed Crimea on March 21 after a referendum, in which 97% of Crimean people voted in favor of joining Russia. Ukraine and the West called the referendum illegal.