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Russian Forces Seize Last Major Ukrainian Military Base in Crimea



Russian forces have seized the last major Ukrainian military base in Crimea.

Russian troops fired shots and used armored vehicles to smash through the gates of Belbek air base Saturday. Ukrainian forces offered no resistance. They sang their country's national anthem before putting their weapons into storage.

At least one Ukrainian soldier was wounded. Some reporters and cameramen covering the takeover were roughed up by Russian solders and had their equipment seized, including those working for VOA.

Belbek was the last major military holdout against the Russian takeover of Crimea.

Also Saturday, a pro-Russian crowd tried to storm a Ukrainian naval base in Novofedorovka. The Ukrainians responded with smoke bombs. It is not clear if the mob took over the base.



In Kyiv Saturday, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praised Ukraine's interim prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, for his "real leadership." Mr. Ban said he admired the prime minister's call for "inclusiveness and reconciliation."

Also in Kyiv Saturday was Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper -- the first G7 leader to visit Mr. Yatsenyuk in Ukraine. Mr. Harper said Canadians are impressed by the restraint Ukraine is showing despite what he calls Russia's "obvious provocations."

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