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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.

Russian forces also took over a Ukrainian naval base in Novofedorovka.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague, writing in the Telegraph newspaper, said Britain and its allies must be ready for different relations with Russia than what they have enjoyed over the last 20 years.

Hague said this would include restricting military cooperation and arms sales to Russia and having Russia outside some international organizations.



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."

Meantime, Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte is leading a congressional delegation on a visit to Kiyv Sunday. Ayotte has called for more U.S. aid to Ukraine.

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