Ukrainian military faces down tense standoff

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Ukrainian military faces down tense standoff

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A tense standoff continues to rage in Crimea as Ukrainian forces remain holed up in key military posts.

Surrounding them are heavily armed troops, wearing fatigues bearing no insignia.

But despite official silence from the Kremlin, some of the troops in the region have been identified as Russian.

Nonetheless, many of the Ukrainian forces they’ve besieged remain in a defiant mood, Valery Boikom, a local commander of a Ukranian base had this to say:

“We are ready to protect the ground and our military equipment. But I will repeat, we hope for a compromise to be reached, a decision, and that there will be no war”

The Ukrainian military and indeed its interim government were struck a blow on Sunday with the defection of its recently appointed Navy chief, Rear Admiral Denys Berezovsky. He chose to swear allegiance to the Crimea region.

But elsewhere in Ukraine people rallied against Russia’s increased presence on their soil. Kharkiv saw demonstrations as did other Ukranian cities. Protesters were heard calling for unity.

Sunday saw a further ratcheting up of regional tensions as Ukraine’s interim leaders decided to mobilse the country’s armed forces.