Russia Denies Demanding Surrender Of Ukraine Warships

Russian troops threaten to storm Ukrainians ships if the crews do not surrender

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Mikhail Klimentyev / RIA Novosti / Kremlin / Reuters

Russia's President Vladimir Putin accompanied by Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu walks to watch military exercises upon his arrival at the Kirillovsky firing ground in the Leningrad region, March 3, 2014.

Update 1:38pm

The Russian defense ministry called claims it had demanded the crews of two Ukrainian warships to surrender immediately “total nonsense” on Monday, according to state-run media.

Media reports had also suggested that four Russian navy ships were in position around the Ukrainian ships in Sevastopol’s harbor as they awaited a response to the surrender ultimatum. The BBC cited Ukrainian defense sources saying that Russia had set a 03:00 GMT (22:00 EST) deadline for Ukrainians soldiers in Crimea to surrender or be attacked “across Crimea.”

But a representative of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet told Russia Today those claims were unfounded. “We have become accustomed to the daily accusations by the Ukrainian media of carrying out some sort of military actions against our Ukrainian colleagues,” he said. “Those who want to pit us against each other in the Crimea won’t succeed.”

The State Department said it had not had independent confirmation of any ultimatum, but voiced concerns at a possible escalation.  “Reports of an ultimatum, if true, constitute a dangerous escalation of the situation for which we would hold Russia directly responsible,” spokesperson Jen Psaki said.

Russian troops have encircled Ukrainian military bases throughout Crimea and are in a tense standoff that has thus far not resulted in bloodshed. But any Russian ultimatum could lead the nations to violence after Ukrainian authorities announced it would “never give up” Crimea. 

The standoff began over the weekend after Russian President Vladimir Putin was given approval by his parliament to send troops to Ukraine, shortly after unidentified pro-Russia militants wearing fatigues first appeared around key locations in the Crimean region last week. Russian forces now control all Ukrainian border posts, as well as all military facilities.

Putin has claimed Russia needs to protect large ethnic Russian populations on the peninsula. But there have been no reports of organized hostility toward Russian speakers in Ukraine during the four-month upheaval that shook pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych from power.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused a global uproar as Western leaders scramble to respond to Putin’s aggression. President Obama and Congress are currently considering economic sanctions and other measures that would isolate Russia but have yet to set a clear path. 

[AP]

26 comments
aklimento
aklimento

The young prime minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yaitsenuk was definitely on the brink of nervous breakdown, with foreign minister of UK during press-conference today in Kiev. I'm not envy him, he was right saying earlier they are on suicidal mission and his country on the brink of collapse. To be between rail and sledgehammer in centuries-old geo-political games around Crimea... Read Tolstoy's 'Sevastopol's tales' and Twain's 'Luck'. 1914 - WWI, 1917 - revolutions, civil war and Antanta, 1944 - Yalta, 1954 - Khrustchev granted this peninsula to his native soviet republic. That was hurtful to Russian pride, even then, but quickly suppressed by total propaganda and following liberalization, release of millions from Gulag. Actually, next soviet ruler from 1964, Brezhnev was from Ukraine also, so nobody dared to say anything. 1991 - drunkard Yeltsin didn't even bother to raise the question about Crimea, and why indeed Kravchuk should remind him about it? Why was the rush that time? Politbureau didn't exist already, Gorbachev was just figurehead... Murky times... It's getting clear now, truth is hard to hide in digital time, in Third Millennium. Modern Trojan Horse. Just another one in eternal history of humanity.

DavidHill1
DavidHill1

Although I do not condone Russian intervention (if a full occupation comes), I also deplore the West’s stance on not letting the democratic decision of the people of the Crimea decide whether they wish to stay within the Ukraine or join the Russian Federation. It is as though the West is as usual imposing their standards and if the West still believes in ‘Democracy’ outwardly (ironically their politicians only believe in their party’s control of a nation in reality if you study western politics), they should let the people of the Crimea decide. That is what is happening in Scotland isn’t it within the UK, or is there something different here? Or could it be that we can do it, but others can’t when it comes to the people’s will and democratic decision-making?

But this of course if big business has some hefty investments in the Crimea and where, as we all know, politicians just do their master’s bidding behind closed doors. For in this respect all wars are economic at their roots, but where the people pay with their lives not politicians or big business - http://worldinnovationfoundation.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/the-people-do-not-know-truth-of-what-is.html

We shall see what happens in the Crimea, but where their people will have to decide not the West who’s politicians when they put ‘boots on the ground’ only usually create the bringing back home of untold body bags of others. Note not politicians and the CEOs of big business who create the seeds of wars indirectly, but the sons, daughters, fathers and mothers of normal working class people – 90% of a nation’s population and not the rich and powerful 10% who live in another world and where others invariably die on their behalf, but never themselves.

Dr David Hill

Chief Executive

World Innovation Foundation

andi-70
andi-70

Despot to do list:Number 1 - Take back Ukraine and let talkers of West post pointless coward comments. Number 2 - Move to next target and do same. Number 3 – Repeat Number 2 until stopped.

formerlyjames
formerlyjames

All of the talk of democracy in the Ukraine is nonsense.  The violence in Kiev by mobs who represent a fraction of the people is democratic?   Quite a stretch of the concept.

RicardoRivera
RicardoRivera

President needs to let this play out and than act accordingly. Putin made the choice to go through with this long ago and he will not back off because, America said so if he did than he will look foolish at home. Remember perception is what drives men like him and of course ego!

RicardoRivera
RicardoRivera

Putin needs a hobby the man is clearly a bully with diva tendencies! From this point all can we stop buying the This is a new Russia talk from Putin! The Only difference between communist leader and a dictator  is that the name!> Posted the following on another article.

We have to step up politically as a Ukraine ally because, we're the only superpower that stands for democracy. Does that mean we're going to war? No, this isn't the cold war maybe for Russia and some of the media but trust me Russia doesn't want to face us in that way and the president won't allow others to dictate his thinking. The GOP sounding like they want to give Putin Kudos or something, it's embarrassing! This was not a surprise anyone who knew of this issue saw this coming. President has to let this play out than act accordingly.

evolvented
evolvented

when usa will take over some huge region without a single shot it will have a true right to judge russians in crimea. just think of one so far guys. 

TAHKICT
TAHKICT

Careful my Russian brothers, Ukraine are not Chechnya. We’ll get close and personal, and break off your horns.Slava YKPAIHI!

SmarterThan-You
SmarterThan-You

The world always criticizes the US first. What about you EU?? This is happening your backyard. Get vocal and lead the way for once. You know we'll back you up like we always have.

JohnDahodi
JohnDahodi

Obama and the West has to stop giving senseless threats and wrong hope to the 23 million Ukrainians that they will join them in the Western fold. It is purely a geopolitics and we have to accept it keeping our mind and heart cool.

LET ME ASK OBAMA; WHAT YOU WILL DO IF HALF OF MEXICANS WILL INVITE RUSSIA TO BE THEIR ALLY AND ALLOW RUSSIAN COMMUNISM SYSTEM? ARE WE GOING TO WATCH CALMLY AND KEEP QUITE? 

By the way, why we are not crying loudly; when elected government of Egypt is toppled by the dictator? Why we have allowed Saudi and UAE to send their troops to silent the majority voice of Bahrain? and so on...?

FromUkraine
FromUkraine

@DavidHill1 People of Crimea want peace in their towns (which is hard to expest with Russian peacekeepers on their streets). People of Crimea want tourists to come to Crimea in summer so they can make money (which is impossible now with Russian peacekeepers on the streets, so tourists definetly go to Sochi built by Kremlin investing huge sums of money). People of Crimea do not want to pay much for electricity, gas and fresh water which come from the mainland Ukraine (which will be apparent in case of separation from Ukraine). The only people who want to become a part of Russia is families of Russian militaries in Sebastopol - but they do not represent all People of Crimea. And in general in CIS countries people take "Russian Peacekeepers" very sceptical)) Do you think it is possible to have any honest, true and legitimate political processes with armed people on the streets and government buildings?  

TAHKICT
TAHKICT

@formerlyjames you call 99% a fraction?  All the idiots demonstrating in the east are russians brought by russia.

telstariv
telstariv

@RicardoRivera The right would do well to remember Bush's fiasco of a response to Putin's invasion of Georgia in 2008.  Talk about wimpy!

evolvented
evolvented

@TAHKICT  nationalizm, no matter what kind will be killed. remember that brother.

santiagoamr
santiagoamr

@SmarterThan-You  The world criticises the US because of what you are saying, stop intervening on anything you want, just shut up, stay quiet, you look better that way.

WilfTarquin
WilfTarquin

@SmarterThan-You No one wants full scale war over Ukraine. The West would defeat the Russians, but at horrible cost. No matter how strongly one may feel about Ukraine, it is not a member of NATO or the EU, and the EU will not intervene militarily to save Ukraine. Financially and diplomatical help, yes, satellite and other intelligence, certainly, perhaps also arms shipments -- but not with troops.

SmarterThan-You
SmarterThan-You

@JohnDahodi  Stop blaming it on Western ways. This is about people wanting a Democracy. The West just has a history of Democracy, attention is immediately drawn our way. Trust us, we wish every country could handle it in a civilized way. I suppose you are the type that would rather turn their back on problems that are not your own. As humans, things like Syria are everyones problem

formerlyjames
formerlyjames

@TAHKICT @formerlyjames  

You are saying that only 1% of Ukraine is Russian and that Russia has recently imported Russians to protest.   That alone severely blows your credibility, but for the sake of discourse, my main concern is mob rule.  It is not democracy and holds as much credibility in that regard as your  obviously deficient   knowledge.  

formerlyjames
formerlyjames

@telstariv @RicardoRivera  

Actually, Georgia opened fire on Russian forces who were in South Ossetia by mutual and international agreement.  


I wouldn't call what has transpired in Kiev a model of democracy.  More like mob rule.

formerlyjames
formerlyjames

@WilfTarquin @formerlyjames @telstariv @RicardoRivera  

I'm not familiar with that version, nor other real or imagined versions of what transpired in the heat of the brief conflict.    Your placement of "the Russians and Ossetians" in collusion does hint of the more cogent context, that Ossetia was ethnic Russian, wanted to be a part of Russia, did not want to be a part of Georgia, and Georgia would not allow that.  

WilfTarquin
WilfTarquin

@formerlyjames @telstariv@RicardoRiveraActually, that's not what happened at all. 

The most amusing aspect of the whole thing is probably that the Russians managed to place a mole, Ryan Grist, as head of the EU observers in Georgia. When the Russians attacked he ordered all the observers into a basement (where they couldn't observe anything) and drove across the border and had dinner with the Russian commander. Then he called an unsanctioned press conference in which he testified that the Georgians fired first.

When he was found out he was fired.


Later EU and UN investigations have found that the Russians and Ossetians initiated hostilities by launching artillery strikes against Georgian border villages.