Acting Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Ihor Tenyukh, said on Sunday that some Ukrainian military units would eventually be withdrawn from the Crimean peninsula.
The decision follows a new turn of escalation of situation in the region on the heels of the referendum in Crimea.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defence said in a release that “in spite of achieved arrangements between the Ukrainian Navy and RF Black Sea Fleet Commands, several Ukrainian military units were captured in Crimea.”
“In addition, the blockade of other military units was intensified by representatives of the so called Crimean ‘self-defense’ exerting psychological pressure on the servicemen. The representatives of Russian personnel department participate in this process, too. They reassure Ukrainian servicemen to desert to Russian Federation Armed Forces,” the release added.
“Ukrainian Navy ships were captured in Crimea. All the commanders received the order to fire, but they didn’t follow it to avoid bloodshed,” noted Acting Defense Minister.
“During our talks with RF Black Sea Fleet Commander we spoke about the axiom ‘when the cannons silent the talks are heard’. But they violated it,” stressed Rear Admiral Serhiy Hayduk.
He continued by saying that he had liaison with all the commanders and military units in Crimea.
Ihor Tenyukh said that the Cabinet of Ministers considered the possibility of withdrawing some military units from Crimean peninsula, primarily, servicemen families.
“The Ukrainian leaders of state and Armed Forces are considering all possible political, diplomatic and other measures to solve comprehensively the crisis in Crimean region and take in consideration all the interests of the Ukrainian servicemen and their families.
If the appropriate decision on evacuation of Ukrainian servicemen on mainland is taken, the servicemen will not be considered as high traitors. They will continue service in other garrisons of Ukrainian Armed forces and will receive apartments,” the MoD concluded.
“The appropriate decisions will be taken in the nearest time”, Ihor Tenyukh said.
Acting Defense Minister denied media rumours about absence of food and armament on ships.
Naval Today Staff, March 24, 2014; Image: Ukrainian MoD