Today in Kerch, the Commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet Coastal Troops gave the ‘Black Berets’ [members of the marine division of the Military Naval Forces of Ukraine] until March 16, 2014 to decide “where they are prepared to serve” and to file the appropriate reports, as  announced on the Facebook page of the head of the media center within the Ministry of Defence in Crimea, Vladyslav Selezniov.

“Sources in Kerch say that the Commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet Coastal Troops, Major-General Oleksandr Ostrykov, paid yet another visit to the Ukrainian marines today, on March 9, 2014,”  he said.

“According to those who were  there, the representative of the Black Sea Fleet asked the members of the marine division ‘take until March 16 to decide where they are prepared to serve and to file the appropriate reports,’” Selezniov declared.

According to Major-General Oleksandr Ostrykov, cited by Selezniov, the Ukrainian naval soldiers “are promised financial support on par with standards in the Russian Federation and other benefits.”

“There was also an announcement of nearly 60 such reports having been filed already by Ukrainian marines from Feodosiya … The filing of 60 reports in Feodosiya, however, has not been confirmed,” he said.

Ukrainian military has so far flatly refused to switch sides, notwithstanding the propositions, threats and attempted bribery.


Translated by Dasha Darchuk, edited by Lesia Stangret

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