Tag Archives: Ukrainian Navy

Ukrainian servicemen leave Navy base in Sevastopol as Crimea protesters storm HQ

Men, believed to be Ukrainian servicemen, with belongings walk past armed men, while leaving the territory of the naval headquarters in Sevastopol, March 19, 2014.

At least 30 Ukrainian naval personnel have left the Ukrainian Navy headquarters in the city of Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula after demonstrators stormed the premises early in the morning.

Crimean self-defense troops have made a passage to let Ukrainian servicemen leave the territory of the HQ. Reports on the number of people to have left vary with ITAR-TASS saying around 50 personnel are gone, Rear Admiral Sergey Gaiduk of the Ukrainian Navy among them.

However, Kryminform says Gaiduk has been detained by the Sevastopol prosecutor’s office while RIA Novosti reports that his whereabouts is unknown.

People began protesting outside the HQ at 08:00 GMT. Several thousand participants cut fences, stormed inside and changed the flags on the flagpoles. Some of the participants of the rally were singing the Russian national anthem.

There were no immediate reports of violence.

A pro-Russian supporter takes down a Ukrainian flag after breaking into the territory of the naval headquarters in Sevastopol, March 19, 2014.

The protesters hoisted Russian and St. Andrew’s flags, the latter being the Russian Navy Ensign, according to Interfax.

There was an immediate alert on the territory of the HQ and the Ukrainian seamen lined up in front of the protesters, reports Interfax. The line was broken by cars belonging to activists that entered the territory.

The protesters were calling upon the Ukrainian servicemen to leave the HQ. An ambulance was also called as a precaution.

Ukrainian servicemen pass by armed men while leaving the territory of the naval headquarters in Sevastopol, March 19, 2014.

UkrStream.TV cameras which recorded the situation near the headquarters of the Ukrainian Navy show no violence on the precinct.

After the protesters entered the navy HQ territory, they began holding talks with the representatives of the Ukrainian Navy.

According to Sevastopol news websites, the Commander of the Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, Vice-Admiral Aleksandr Vitko, later arrived to negotiate with Gaiduk.

Ukrainian officers abandon Sevastopol naval base

Ukrainian officers abandon Sevastopol naval base

After just 15 minutes of negotiations, Vitko left the grounds and refused to comment on the results of the talks with Gaiduk.

Before leaving, both rear admirals held talks with Admiral Yury Ilyin, the new Army chief and Admiral Viktor Maksimov, the head of Ukraine’s Naval Forces.

Earlier, there were reports of possible provocations. Some unidentified men tried to enter the building. However, the attempts failed due to Self-Defense Unit guards and Crimean Cossacks.

A man holds a Russian flag on the roof of the naval headquarters in Sevastopol, March 19, 2014.

Ukrainian armed forces commander Mikhail Kucin has informed his Russian counterpart Valery Gerasimov that he has authorized the use of military force by troops stationed in Crimea, according to Ukraine’s Defense Ministry.

In a phone conversation with Gerasimov, Kucin has emphasized de-escalation and a political solution to the crisis, rather than a violent one. The green light to use force has been given by him in the aftermath of the events in Simferopol, which have led to the death of one Ukrainian soldier and another from the Crimean Self-Defense Forces, while two others were injured.

On March 16, Crimea held a referendum in which over 96 percent of its citizens voted to join Russia. Two days later, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status, became federal objects of the Russian Federation.

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Crimea protesters storm Ukrainian Navy base in Sevastopol

A Ukrainian serviceman (C) passes by pro-Russian supporters and members of self-defence units as he leaves the naval headquarters in Sevastopol, March 19, 2014.

Demonstrators have stormed the Ukrainian Navy HQ in the town of Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula.

The protesters hoisted Russian and St. Andrew’s flags, the latter being the Russian Navy Ensign, according to Interfax.

People have been protesting outside the HQ since 08:00GMT. Several thousand participants have cut the fences, stormed inside and changed the flags on the flagpoles. There have been no immediate reports of violence.

The participants of the rally are currently holding talks with the representatives of the Ukrainian Navy. Russian forces are not party to the negotiations.

There was an immediate alert on the territory of the HQ and the Ukrainian servicemen lined up in front of the protesters, reports Interfax. The line was broken by cars belonging to activists that entered the territory.

The protesters are calling upon the Ukrainian servicemen to leave the HQ. An ambulance has been called as a precaution.

A Ukrainian naval officer (C) passes by armed men, believed to be Russian servicemen, as he leaves the naval headquarters in Sevastopol, March 19, 2014.

 

Some of the participants of the rally have been singing the Russian anthem.

UkrStream.TV cameras which are currently recording the situation near the headquarters of the Ukrainian Navy show no violence on the precinct.

According to Sevastopol news websites, the Commander of the Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, Vice-Admiral Aleksandr Vitko, has just arrived in the HQ of the Ukrainian Navy and negotiations are underway.

Vitko arrived at the HQ 30 minutes ago and is currently holding talks with Rear Admiral Sergey Gaiduk of the Ukrainian Navy.

After the negotiations, Vitko left the Ukrainian Navy HQ and refused to comment on the results of the talks with Gaiduk.

According to Reuters, nearly a dozen unarmed Ukrainian servicemen have walked out of HQ.

Earlier, there were reports of possible provocations. Some unidentified men tried to enter the building. However, the attempts failed due to Self-Defense Unit guards and Crimean Cossacks.

Ukrainian armed forces commander Mikhail Kucin, has informed his Russian counterpart Valery Gerasimov that he has authorized the use of military force by troops stationed in Crimea, according to Ukraine’s Defense Ministry.

In a phone conversation with Gerasimov, Kucin has emphasized de-escalation and a political solution to the crisis, rather than a violent one. The green light to use force has been given by him in the aftermath of the events in Simferopol, which have led to the death of one Ukrainian soldier and another from the Crimean Self-Defense Forces, while two others were injured.

On March 16 Crimea held a referendum where over 97 percent of its citizens voted for joining Russia. Two days later, the Autonomous republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status, became federal objects of the Russian Federation.

 

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Crimean self-defense squads in stand off with Ukrainian soldiers at Belbek airport

The autonomous republic’s self-defense forces have met with Ukrainian soldiers who wanted to return to Belbek Sevastopol International Airport. The sides entered into long negotiations, which ended with a peaceful agreement.

Nearly 50 soldiers from the Ukrainian army singing the national anthem and brandishing the Ukrainian flag came to Belbek airport at about 09:00 local time (07:00 GMT). They were keen to continue their service on the airport’s territory.

After self-defense squads’ fired several warning shots in the air, both sides started negotiating.

“You are deliberately provoking us,” one of the members of the self-defense forces told Ukrainian soldiers. The conversation was broadcast by Crimean ATR channel.

“How are we provoking you? We have no weapons,” the Ukrainians responded.

After the negotiations, nearly 10 airport military personnel, including several servicemen, signalmen and dispatchers, were permitted to stay on the territory of the airport to help ensure safety of the premises.

“The negotiations involved a lot of give and take, and the self-defense squads agreed to our demands but on certain conditions,” Colonel Yury Mamchur from the Ukrainian forces told the journalists at the scene.

Ukrainian servicemen carry flags as they leave Belbek Airport in Crimea on March 4, 2014.

The self-defense squads have been patrolling the grounds outside the airport since February 28. They were helping to ensure safety and prevent possible turmoil in Sevastopol and throughout the whole of Crimea.

Belbek Airport hosts 45 MiG-29 fighter jets and 4 L-39 training jets. However, only four fighters and one training aircraft are currently operational.

While most of the airport is patrolled by the self-defense squads, storage facilities with weapons and ammunition are still controlled by Ukrainian military forces.

The Crimean authorities have denounced the self-proclaimed government in Kiev and declared that all Ukrainian law enforcement and military deployed in the peninsula must take orders from them.

Many units within the national armed forces have started joining up with the pro-Russian Crimean government and the locals who organized self-defense against right-wing radicals. Recently, the commander of the Ukrainian navy and most of the military stationed in the peninsula took new oaths.

This brings the total number of troops who’ve reportedly switched sides to nearly 6,000 in the last two days.

Among those pledging allegiance to Crimea is Rear Admiral Denis Berezovsky, who was appointed by Kiev last week as chief of the Ukrainian Navy, but swore to serve the people of Crimea on Monday.

Crimeans began protesting after the new self-proclaimed government in Kiev introduced a law abolishing the use of other languages for official purposes in Ukraine. More than half the Crimean population is Russian and uses only this language for their communication. The residents have announced they are going to hold a referendum to determine the fate of the Ukrainian autonomous region.

Ukrainian servicemen wait at Belbek Airport in Crimea on March 4, 2014.

 

 

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Ukrainian warships voluntarily leave Sevastopol : sources

About 10 Ukrainian Black Sea Fleet ships have left the naval base in Sevastopol, with several vessels now heading to Odessa, administrative sources have said. The ships left the base voluntarily but some of them broke down and returned, they claimed.

Facts you need to know about Crimea and why it is in turmoil

Over the last 24 hours, “about 10 [war]ships and vessels of the Ukrainian Black Sea Fleet have left the Sevastopol base,” a source in the government of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea told Interfax on Sunday.

“Naturally, no one has compelled them to do so,” the government source added.

The administration of the Crimean autonomy has nothing to do with the moves of the Ukrainian ships, an administrative source also told RIA Novosti.

Several vessels have since returned to the base in Sevastopol “because of malfunctions,” the source said.

Meanwhile, former Ukrainian troops were due to swear allegiance to the Crimean authorities in Sevastopol at 5pm local time (15:00 GMT). An unnamed official source earlier told RIA Novosti that “the majority of the Ukrainian armed forces deployed in Crimea” have passed to the side of the region. The transition was made “without a single shot fired,” the source said.

Ukrainian state agencies have been categorically denying both the claims of Ukrainian soldiers switching sides en masse and, earlier, reports of warships leaving Sevastopol.

However, the governor of southern Ukrainian Odessa Region told local media that several Ukrainian ships are sailing to the city of Odessa and it is being decided where they will dock.

A Russian media report on Saturday claimed that Ukraine’s Navy flagship, the Hetman Sahaidachny frigate has refused to follow orders from Kiev, came over to Russia’s side and was returning home from the Gulf of Aden flying the Russian naval flag. Various Ukrainian media denied the report as “false” and “propaganda,” but gave only a Facebook statement of a former Navy officer turned journalist in support of the rebuttal.

This comes as the newly appointed Navy Chief rear admiral Denis Berezovsky has sworn allegiance to the people of Crimea, according to RIA Novosti.

“I, Berezovsky Denis, swear allegiance to the Crimean people and pledge to protect it, as required by the [army] regulations,” Berezovsky said.

Hours after the announcement, the self-proclaimed government in Kiev dismissed the Navy Chief and launched a treason case against him.

Ukrainian warships voluntarily leave Sevastopol: sources — RT News.

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Crimea forms its own fleet as Ukraine Navy chief sides with region

Denis Berezovsky

Rear admiral Denis Berezovsky, appointed as head of Ukraine’s Navy forces just two days ago, has sworn allegiance to the people of Crimea. Taking his oath, regional Prime Minister Sergey Aksyonov announced creating Crimea’s Navy.

Facts you need to know about Crimea and why it is in turmoil

“I, Berezovsky Denis, swear allegiance to the Crimean people and pledge to protect it, as required by the [army] regulations. I swear to take orders of Crimea and Sevastopol‘s Supreme Commander,” Berezovsky said as seen in video footage

The region’s Prime Minister Sergey Aksyonov announced the creation of Crimea’s Navy forces and appointed Berezovsky its head.

The Republic will have its own navy, which will be commanded by rear admiral Berezovsky,” Aksyonov told the journalists Sunday.

“Subsequently, this day will be considered the birthday of the naval forces of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea,” he added.

All Navy troops dislocated in Sevastopol are ordered to disregard any commands coming from Ukraine’s new self-proclaimed authorities,” the PM also declared. “Do not take any orders of using arms till my personal instructions.”

Aksyonov promised that “all soldiers, who’ll swear allegiance to the Crimean people, will retain their allowance, health and social benefits, military rank and position.”

As for those, who wouldn’t want to join the Crimean navy, they have the full right “to retire” and “won’t be prosecuted” afterwards, the PM stressed.

Berezovsky was appointed Ukraine’s Navy chief on February 28, but following Sunday developments the country’s Security Council dismissed him and launched a case for “treason” and for surrendering his headquarters in the Crimean port of Sevastopol.

The prosecutor’s office has opened a criminal case against Denis Berezovsky under statute 111: state treason,” said Viktoria Syumar, deputy secretary of the Security Council. Another admiral, Sergey Hayduk, was placed in charge of the navy.

Earlier in the day, Ukrainian armed forces dispatched to Crimea were said to have switched to the side of local authorities.

Today the majority of the Ukrainian armed forces deployed in Crimea passed to the side of the authorities of the Crimean autonomous region. The transition was absolutely peaceful, without a single shot fired either by the military or by the forces of self-defense,” a source told RIA Novosti news agency.

A Russian media report on Saturday also claimed that Ukraine’s Navy flagship, the Hetman Sahaidachny frigate has refused to follow orders from Kiev, came over to Russia’s side and was returning home from the Gulf of Aden flying the Russian naval flag.

Crimeans began protesting after the new self-imposed government in Kiev introduced a law abolishing the use of other languages for official documents in Ukraine. More than half the Crimean population are Russian and use only this language for their communication. The residents have announced they are going to hold a referendum on March 30 to determine the fate of the Ukrainian autonomous region.

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Ukrainian Navy flagship takes Russia’s side – report

The Ukrainian Krivak class frigate Hetman Sahaydachny

Ukraine’s Navy flagship, the Hetman Sahaidachny frigate, has reportedly refused to follow orders from Kiev, and come over to Russia’s side and is returning home after taking part in NATO operation in the Gulf of Aden flying the Russian naval flag.

There has been conflicting information on where exactly the vessel is, but a Russian senator has confirmed to Izvestia daily that the frigate defected to the Russian side.

“Ukraine’s Navy flagship the Hetman Sahaidachny has come over to our side today. It has hung out the St Andrew’s flag,” Senator Igor Morozov, a member of the committee on the international affairs, told Izvestia daily.

He said the flagship is on its way back to the Black Sea after drills in the Mediterranean. “The crew has fulfilled the order by the chief commander of Ukraine’s armed forces Viktor Yanukovich,” he added.

The move comes after the Navy command resigned Friday. Self-appointed President Aleksandr Turchinov made Rear Admiral Denis Berezovsky the new Navy Chief, a statement published on the President’s website Saturday said.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the Prime Minister of Ukraine had earlier asked his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan not to let the frigate through the Bosporus strait, according to the Kiev Times. The ship captain and the head of Ukraine’s contingent in the operation, Rear Admiral Andrey Tarasov disobeyed orders from Kiev.

The Hetman Sahaidachny returns to Sevastopol, Crimea after taking part in a joint counter-piracy operation with NATO and the EU off the Horn of Africa, reported UNN on Friday, citing Ukraine’s Defense Ministry. On February 26, after crossing the Suez Canal, the ship entered the Mediterranean Sea and was expected to be in Sevastopol in early March.

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