The Ukrainian frigate Hetman Sahaydachny with Ka-27 helicopter and special team on board has completed its deployment within the Ocean Shield and the EU Atalanta operations in the Gulf of Aden and now it is docked in Greece for replenishment, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence said on Sunday.
Rear Admiral Andriy Tarasov, Commander of National Contingent, informed the frigate would head home to Ukraine, soon.
“Ukrainian servicemen serve for the Ukrainian people and sail under the Ukrainian flag,” he underlined.
The announcement comes in the wake of media reports that the frigate refused to follow orders from Kiev, and came over to Russia’s side.
Rear Admiral Andriy Tarasov mentioned the leaders of national contingent communicate constantly with the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
The Ministry denied claims of the international mass media saying that 10 ships of the Ukrainian Navy left Sevastopol base and the majority of military units of the Ukrainian Armed forces deployed in Crimea came over the autonomy authorities.
“The Office of Press and Information of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine officially declares this information is not true.
All the Ukrainian ships are docked in Sevastopol Bay. The personnel blocked in their military units by armed persons are calm and carry on negotiations. The Ukrainian servicemen refuse to hand over the arms.
Particularly, today (March 2) the Ukrainian servicemen prevented the recovery of arms from the territory of the training unit in Sevastopol blocking the way-out by BTR-80. The officers made the human shield around the armored vehicle and prevented its towing off.
The armed persons made two shots in air but the Ukrainian servicemen did not retreat. Therefore, the armed persons left the territory and the vehicle with arms was sent to the 174th Storage Depot of the Ukrainian Navy. We stress the territory of the military units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are controlled by the Ukrainian servicemen,” the MoD release read.
“The Russian Federation continues to make the information campaign against Ukraine to justify its illegal actions within the sovereign territory”, the Mod commented, adding that the Ukrainian “servicemen demonstrate allegiance to the Oath and the Ukrainian People, courage and confidence in own actions”.
On the other hand, the reports on an alleged ultimatum made yesterday to the Ukrainian armed forces in Crimea by the Russia’s Black Sea Fleet are “total nonsense,” a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry said Monday.
Naval Today Staff, March 4, 2014; Image: Ukrainian MoD