Russia Storms Ukrainian Military Base In Crimea

Russian forces stormed a Ukrainian military base in Crimea Saturday, hoping to stomp out the last resistance in the region.
Posted at 1:56 PM, Mar 22, 2014

Russian forces have stormed a Ukrainian military base in Crimea.

The Washington Post reports the Russians drove two armored vehicles through the fences guarding the base after Ukrainian forces wouldn't let them in. People nearby have reportedly heard gunfire and explosions coming from the base.

According to Al Jazeera, troops are there to take over the base, which is one of the few Ukrainian-controlled bases left in Crimea following Russia's annexation of the region. 

One Ukrainian serviceman was killed earlier this week in a shootout with unidentified gunman. Two others were also injured in the shooting.

And as the struggle at the Belbek base continues, reporters say Russian forces are telling them to turn their cameras off and are escorting reporters away from the base. A BBC reporter says it's not looking good for Ukraine's military.

"The situation is slowly, slowly calming down here, but it's fair to say that the Russians are in control. ... They were quickly overwhelmed by far superior, better trained and armed Russian forces."

This comes as a group of 100 international monitors is heading to Ukraine to oversee the human rights situation in the troubled country. NBC points out the group will not be heading to Crimea since it's no longer part of Ukraine.

The U.S. and its European allies have condemned last Sunday's referendum for Crimea to join Russia as "illegal." Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law making the takeover of Crimea official anyway.