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Mar 19, 2014 11:58 AM by Associated Press

Ukraine's Crimea base taken, commander detained

SEVASTOPOL, Crimea (AP) - Masked Russian-speaking troops have seized control of Ukrainian naval headquarters in Crimea after it was stormed by several hundred militiamen.

Pro-Moscow authorities in Crimea also detained the Ukrainian navy commander and reportedly blocked the defense minister and another government official from traveling to the peninsula to try to defuse tensions.

The seizure of the naval headquarters came a day after a confrontation between Ukrainian soldiers and pro-Russian militia left two dead.

Ukraine's Defense Ministry says no one was injured in today's raid, which it says was led by pro-Russian militiamen and Cossacks.

Ukraine's military is heavily outnumbered in Crimea, which is home to Russia's Black Sea Fleet. Tens of thousands of Russian-led troops are now patrolling Crimea.

Yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty to incorporate Crimea into Russia. That followed a referendum Sunday in which residents of the region overwhelmingly backed the move.



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