BELBEK AIR BASE, Crimea (AP) — Pro-Russian forces have stormed a Ukrainian air force base in Crimea.
Associated Press journalist at the Belbek base near the port city of
Sevastopol reports the pro-Russian forces fired shots and smashed
through the front gate and concrete walls of the base with armored
The base commander says at least one person was wounded. He says his troops plan to turn over their weapons.
forces have been seizing Ukrainian military facilities for several days
in the Black Sea peninsula, which voted a week ago to secede and join
Elsewhere, more than 5,000 pro-Russia residents of a major city in Ukraine's
east have been demonstrating in favor of holding a referendum on
whether to split off and join Russia. The rally in Donetsk comes less
than a week after voters in Crimea approved a similar referendum and
Russia formally annexed the territory.
Russia has moved large
military contingents to areas near the Ukrainian border, though
President Vladimir Putin has said he has no intention of moving into