G7 Blasts Russia's Military Build-Up in Crimea - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

G7 Blasts Russia's Military Build-Up in Crimea

Posted: Updated:

(CNN) -- Russia tightened its grip around Ukraine's eastern Crimean region Monday, drawing condemnation from Western nations and heightening fears of war.

Moscow's G8 partners have condemned its military buildup in the country, demanding that it withdraw. Ukraine's new leaders accused Moscow of declaring war, and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned that blood could be spilled amid growing instability in the neighboring nation.

Ukraine's shaky new government has mobilized troops and called up military reservists as officials say signs of Russian military intervention in Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula -- an autonomous region of eastern Ukraine with strong loyalty to Russia -- are clear.

Speaking at a visit to Switzerland on Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who spoke with his Chinese counterpart Monday about the crisis, accused Ukraine's new authorities -- in place since President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted last week -- of attacking minorities and violating human rights.

"The opposition ... has fulfilled nothing," Russian state news agency ITAR Tass quoted Lavrov as saying. "Illegal weapons have not been handed in, administrative buildings and streets in Kiev have not been fully freed, and radicals continue to control the capital."

A senior U.S. administration official told CNN on Sunday that Russian forces "have complete operational control of the Crimean Peninsula." The official said the U.S. estimates there are 6,000 Russian ground and naval forces in the region.

"There is no question that they are in an occupation position -- flying in reinforcements and settling in," another senior administration official said.

Camouflaged and unidentified

Ukrainian border guards on Monday reported a buildup of armored vehicles on the Russian side of a narrow sea channel dividing Russia and Crimea, Reuters reported, citing a border guard spokesman.

He said that Russian ships had been moving in and around the port city of Sevastopol, where the Russian Black Sea Fleet has a base, and that Russian forces had blocked mobile telephone service in some areas. The buildup of Russian armor was near a ferry port on the Russian side of the Kerch Channel, opposite the Ukrainian city of Kerch.

Meanwhile, The Ukrainian State Border Security Service said there had been several attacks on border posts in eastern Crimea just along the border with Russia.

In a statement on its website, it said men, wearing unidentified camouflage uniforms, were carrying out the attacks, such as one on the Kerch border post, where doors and windows were broken and phone lines were destroyed late Sunday.

Also on Sunday night, armed men in unidentified camouflage uniforms tried to enter the arms depot in Ukraine's Belbek military base near Sevastopol, a Defense Ministry spokesman said.

Ukrainian forces at the base shot into the air to warn them off, but the unidentified men used sound grenades, and one of the Ukrainian commanders was wounded as a result, Vladislav Seleznev, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman in Crimea, told CNN.

The attackers gained access to the base, but Ukrainian troops retain control of the weapons depot and administration building. Seleznev added there have been negotiations.

Men dressed in both civilian and camouflage gear and wearing red armbands have been seen on the streets of the regional capital, Simferopol.

Powered by WorldNow
Powered by 

WorldNowAll content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Valley News Live. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.