Crimea’s self-defence forces on Wednesday stormed the Ukrainian navy base in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol a day after Russia signed a treaty with local authorities to annex the region.
An Associated Press photographer witnessed several hundred self-defence forces force their way onto the headquarters’ premises and raise the Russian flag on the square by the headquarters.
Ukrainian servicemen were standing guard by the main building. Crimean self-defence forces are not armed and seemed to be waiting for the Ukrainian army’s decision whether to let them in.
Russia on Tuesday signed a treaty to incorporate Crimea into its territory following a referendum in which residents of Ukraine’s region overwhelmingly backed the move. Ukraine and the West consider the vote illegitimate.
The United States and the European Union on Monday imposed sanctions on Russia, targeting Russian and Crimean officials with visa bans and asset freezes.
DPA adds from Moscow:
Russia’s top court approves Crimea treaty
Judges at Russia’s constitutional court unanimously approved the treaty on Crimea’s accession to the Russian Federation.
“The document is in accordance with the Russian constitution,” chief judge Valery Zorkin said, according to Russian news agencies.