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Ukrainian military facilities in Crimea hoist Russian flags

Posted on Mar 21 2014 | IANS

Simferopol, March 21 : Over 70 Ukrainian military facilities on the Crimean peninsula have reportedly hoisted Russian flags as of midnight Thursday, including some navy ships of the Ukrainian Black Sea fleet.

Local media quoted an official of the Republic of Crimea as saying on condition of anonymity that 72 Ukrainian military facilities had hoisted the Russian flags, but the official did not specify the total number of Ukrainian military facilities on the peninsula, according to Xinhua.

Ukrainian military personnel serving in Crimea would be given the opportunity to choose whether they would stay or leave, Crimean Prime Minister Sergey Aksenov said last Friday.

Either way, they are guaranteed their payment and allowances due under the Ukrainian legislation, the chairman of the then autonomous region of Crimea's council of ministers said.

"I'm absolutely sure that all military units will move to the March 17 side of the legitimate government or become the reserves," he told a press briefing.

Crimea held a referendum March 16 in which some 96.6 percent of voters opted to join Russia.

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