Kyiv, March 10, 2014. Recently, the density of Russian troops in Ukrainian Crimea has impetuously increased amounting from 20,000 to 30,000 units. Fully armed the Russian military claim to offer protection to the Russian speaking population within Ukraine’s borders. As a matter of controversy, Russian President Vladimir Putin identified armed troops as “Crimean self-defense units.” Day by day Russia seems to distance Crimea from the information spotlight, yielding space for death threats and numerous provocations for an armed conflict to the remaining Ukrainian troops permanently stationed in Crimea.
Interestingly, the Russian troops in ARC have been noticed to constantly change locations, therefore not being assigned to patrol a particular military point. Such maneuver was reportedly used to detach and distance soldiers from getting an objective perspective on the confrontation, feeding troops with pure Kremlin propaganda.
Reportedly, Ukrainian military bases in Simferopol, Kerch, Feodosia, Perevalne, Sevastopol, Evpatoria, Novoozerne, Bakhchisaray and Saky remain under siege by the Russian troops, reads news.liga.net. So far there have been no reports as to violent acts with the use of firearms around Ukraine’s military bases. Cut on food, water and electricity supplies, Ukrainian soldiers and officers received numerous ultimatums to peacefully surrender, or “it would be too late.” Ukraine’s army forces have been exposed to numerous offers coming from Russian officers, with the most moderate being a promise of a tripled salary to the most threatening being death in the violent siege. Additionally, there have been reports of family and children kidnapping threats, addressed to Ukrainian soldiers, who remained on their posts under siege.
Video reports, although scarce, continue finding their way through multiple roadblocks and constant electricity outages initiated by the surrounding Russian military. One such report showcased unarmed Ukrainian air force troops bravely carrying two flags and approaching Russian forces, who previously had taken over Ukrainian air force base in Belbek. Despite several warning shots fired in the air by the Russians, and guns pointed at Ukrainian soldiers, they continued walking and singing their national anthem.
Notwithstanding inhuman conditions, warnings and threats, offers of high positions and salaries, Ukrainian soldiers in Crimea remain loyal to the people of Ukraine, keeping the oath to their Homeland.
“The oath is not a hollow sound for the Ukrainian military,” commented reporter Andriy Tsaplienko after his recent observation mission to Crimea.
Concurrently, many Ukrainian cities held peaceful demonstrations, aimed on supporting Ukrainian troops, promoting a democratic conflict resolution, bridging the Western and Eastern parts of Ukraine closer and denouncing Russian military intervention.
According to the decision of the Federation Council, passed on March 2, 2014 Russian troops were deployed in Crimea in response to instability, ethnic conflict, threats to Russian speaking population and human right violations allegedly taking place in Ukraine’s Crimea.