World Bulletin / News Desk
In yet another humiliating act for the defeated Ukrainian army in Crimea, Russia is now seizing the Ukrainian fleet's squad of 'combat dolphins', that were used to spot enemy divers in the Black Sea.
The dolphins, which belong to the oceanarium in Crimea's Sevastopol, will be "preserved and redirected" to the Russian navy, an employee told Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
Russia has been seizing military bases from retreating Ukrainian troops since a referendum organized by the breakaway Crimean parliament opened the way for the peninsula to join with Russia on March 16.
Earlier on Wednesday, Chief of the General Staff of Russia's Armed Forces, Valery Gerasimov, said about 1,500 Ukrainian troops would leave the region after handing over their weapons, adding that "the servicemen and their families will be transported from the Black Sea peninsula by railways under the agreement with the Russian Defense Ministry".
On March 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law the annexation of the strategic peninsula of Crimea from Ukraine following a referendum in the region where 97 percent of voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.
However, the United States, European Union and Ukraine regard the vote as "illegitimate".
$1.7 BILLION WAR BOOTY
Ukraine's military property in the strategic peninsula of Crimea cost nearly 1.7 billion US dollars, Ukraine's Deputy Defense Minister Leonid Polyakov has said.
“These are just preliminary estimates. The figure of 18 billion hryvnias was voiced on Tuesday,” he told Ukrainian officials in a briefing on Wednesday.
Polyakov said talks with Russia were continuing over the future of Ukrainian military hardware and military property in Crimea, which seceded from Ukraine and was annexed with the Russian Federation after 97 percent of voters in the country supported the move in a controversial referendum on March 16 - regarded by the Western world as "illegitimate".
“If the Ukrainian military fails to move out their hardware and property, Ukraine will demand compensation from Russia in international courts of law,” added Polyakov.Last Mod: 26 Mart 2014, 17:56