In Simferopol, on March 18, Russian troops stormed a military topographic and navigation center of the Main Directorate of Operational Support for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, reports Espreso.TV, citing one of the soldiers defending the center.
According to the soldier, Russian troops, armed with assault rifles, machine guns, sniper rifles and grenades, broke into the army base and seized its commander. One person was injured and removed by ambulance.
Several Ukrainian soldiers, together with civilian women, barricaded themselves in one of the rooms. The Russians began to threaten the Ukrainians with grenades. “Since there were women among us, we decided to surrender to prevent casualties,” the soldier said. He stated that presently all the weapons that were stored at the base are under control of the Russian military.
Earlier, Dmytro Tymchuk, head of the Center for Military-Political Studies, reported on the storming of the military units on his Facebook page, reports Espreso.TV.
“There is an assault under way of the military facilities in Simferopol,” he wrote. “The photogrammetric center of the Central Military Topographic and Navigation Main Directorate of Operations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is being stormed. Russian snipers are firing out of the windows of buildings nearby. According to our records, one person has been injured,” he reported.
The commander of the Naval Forces of Ukraine, Serhiy Hayduk, confirmed during a conference call that a Ukrainian officer had been wounded. “While performing his duties in Simferopol at 16:00, the officer received two bullet wounds in his leg,” Hayduk said, adding that the officer has received medical care. According to recent official data, another Ukrainian soldier died from his wounds. Hayduk pointed out that Russian troops used firearms and traumatic weapons intended to intimidate Ukrainian soldiers.
As reported by a correspondent of Espreso.TV, a military vehicle with a Russian flag entered the territory of the Ukrainian military-topographic center seized by the Russian troops. Dmytro Tymchuk also shared with Espreso.TV data collected by the independent news source “Information Opposition” about the situation in Simferopol.
“One Ukrainian soldier has been killed (flagman Kakurin S.V.), two have been seriously wounded,” he said. “Others soldiers in the unit have been arrested. Russian special forces carried out the assault with the help of gang members (the so-called ‘self-defense’). The ‘self-defense’ fighters carried out the shooting. Currently, the mass media in Crimea, citing the Interior Ministry of Crimea, is disseminating information that is completely contrary to the facts. They claim one ‘self-defense’ fighter died and two were killed as a result of a street shooting in Simferopol, and that shots were fired at the fighters from a sniper rifle in an unfinished building in front of the Ukrainian military unit.”
Tymchuk reported that his group has absolutely no information about any deaths or injuries among the “self-defense” members. Subsequently, Tymchuk provided additional information on developments in Simferopol:
“After the beginning of the assault on the military housing on Kubanska street in Simferopol, the so-called ‘defense units’ withdrew and are currently simply blocking these buildings. At the same time, with a few exceptions, blockades of the military units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are being removed,” he said.
“These events took place after the murder of a Ukrainian soldier and the serious wounding of two soldiers by the occupiers. Only then did the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine permit Ukrainian soldiers in Crimea to use weapons. Crimean mass media (which is now the Russian propaganda mouthpiece) is feverishly disseminating information that during the assault on the Ukrainian military base in Simferopol a member of the ‘self-defense’ unit was also killed. We are convinced this bloody provocation (in reality, an act of war) on the part of the Russians was organized to intimidate the Ukrainian military. By now the Russian side will be playing the “shots by a third party” card. As we remember, Yaukovych’s advisors from the Russian Security Services proposed similar scenarios during Maidan,” he concluded.
Translated by Anna Mostovych