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Crimea Commander Pleads for Clear Orders from Kiev

By Ukrainska Pravda

The commander of the Belbek military base, [Ukrainian air force colonel] Yuli Mamchur, is demanding a decision from the Ukrainian defence ministry and general staff on the actions that should now be taken by Ukrainian military commanders in Crimea.

Speaking in a video that appeared on Thursday [March 13], Mamchur said, “I am addressing the national leadership, the defence ministry and the general staff. The situation that has arisen around Ukrainian military bases in Crimea is no secret to anyone.

“In order to prevent armed clashes, I would ask you to urgently take a considered decision on the actions that military base commanders should take in the event of a direct threat to their personnel, to dependent families, and to the civilian population,” Mamchur said. “I would ask you to formulate that decision as a directive to be issued to all the commanders of military units deployed in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.”

“If you do not take such a decision, we will be forced to act in accordance with Ukrainian armed forces regulations, up to and including the use of live fire,” he warned. “We are acutely aware that we will not be able to hold out for long against Russian troop units that are superior in numbers, arms and training. But we are prepared to do our duty to the last.

“Under constant pressure from the Russian armed forces, the local population and local government, we have verbal orders to hold out, not give in to provocation, and not to use weapons. With superhuman efforts, we are maintaining a tenuous peace in Crimea and we remain true to our oath of loyalty to the Ukrainian people. We servicemen must defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. The ultimatums presented by the Russian armed forces become harsher day by day.” 

This article republished from Ukrainska Pravda with kind permission.

Original article in Russian and Ukrainian

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