Ukraine to Pull All Its Forces From Crimea, Conceding Loss

3/19/14
 
   < < Go Back
 
from The New York Times,
3/19/14:

A Ukrainian naval officer, center, leaving the country’s naval headquarters in Sevastopol after it was seized by militiamen backed by Russian forces.

Bowing to the reality of the Russian military occupation of Crimea a day after Russia announced it was annexing the disputed peninsula, the Ukrainian government said on Wednesday that it had drawn up plans to evacuate all of its military personnel and their families and was prepared to relocate as many as 25,000 of them to mainland Ukraine.

Thousands of Ukrainian soldiers and sailors have been trapped on military bases and other installations here for more than two weeks, surrounded by heavily armed Russian military forces and loosely organized local militia.

While the provisional government in Kiev has insisted that Russia’s annexation of Crimea is illegal and has appealed to international supporters for help, the evacuation announcement by the head of the national security council, Andriy Parubiy, effectively amounted to a surrender of Crimea, at least from a military standpoint.

More From The New York Times: