New movements reported at Crimean missile defence bases

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New movements reported at Crimean missile defence bases

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The standoff continues, but it’s still not clear who’s in control of Crimea’s military bases.

According to various news agencies, Russian forces have seized two Ukrainian missile defence units.

This would add to those already surrounded by armed troops, including the key naval base located in the bays of Sevastopol and Balaklava.

The Ukrainian Defence Ministry has yet to confirm the report. However, the top security chief said there had been no new Russian movements, but reiterated the risk of further actions. He added that he hoped for a peaceful resolution to the crisis.

Moscow continues to deny their troops are present saying local forces are surrounding the bases.

Crimea – a quick history

1783: Crimea annexed by Russian Empire.

1853: Crimean War begins between Russian Empire and a French-, British- and Ottoman-Empire and Sardinian alliance for influence over territories in the diminishing Ottoman Empire. Principal fighting takes place in Crimea.

1854: Allied troops land in Crimea and besiege the city of Sevastopol, home of the Tsar’s Black Sea fleet.

1856: Russia loses the Crimean War.

1917: Russian Civil War begins. Crimea changes hands several times.

1921: The Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic is created as part of the Russian SFSR, which was to become part of the new Soviet Union. Crimea experiences the first of two severe famines in the 20th century.

1941: Germany invades and takes over much of Crimea as part of its World War II campaign.

1944: Sevastopol comes under the control of Soviet Union troops. The city is destroyed. “Ethnic cleansing” programme begins under order of Joseph Stalin. Crimean Tatars, Armenians, Bulgarians and Greeks deported to Central Asia.

1945: The Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic is abolished and becomes a province of Russia.

1954: Crimean region becomes part of Ukraine, after decree by USSR.

1967: Crimean Tatars rehabilitated, but banned from returning to their homeland until the Soviet Union is in its last days.

1991: Collapse of the Soviet Union. Crimea becomes part of the newly-independent Ukraine. Russia’s Black Sea Fleet remains stationed in the region.

1994: Russia agrees that Crimea is legally part of Ukraine and pledges to uphold the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

1998: Current constitution put into place. Territory’s name changed to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

2008: Ukrainian foreign minister Volodymyr Ohryzko accuses Russia of handing out Russian passports to Crimean residents. Describes it as a “real problem” given Russia’s policy to protect its citizens abroad with military intervention.

2009: Polls in Crimea suggest the population is opposed to the idea of becoming part of Russia. Anti-Ukraine demonstrations held by ethnic Russian residents in Crimea later in the year.

2010: Treaty to extend Russia’s lease on a military wharf in Sevastopol until 2042 ratified by Ukraine and Russia.

2014: Pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian protesters clash in Crimean city of Simferopol. Vladimir Putin deploys Russian armed forces in key points in Crimea. Foreign ministry states this is in line with Ukraine-Russia agreements. Russian parliament grants President Putin’s request to use military force in Ukraine. EU and US condemn the motion.