Tense standoff between Russian, Ukrainian soldiers in Crimea ends
Tuesday, March 04, 2014 - 01:36
Mar. 4 - Video shows the dramatic moments of a tense standoff between Ukrainian soldiers and Russian forces who took control of an airbase in Crimea. Mana Rabiee reports.
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Ukrainian soldiers in the eastern region of Crimea.
They're unarmed, carrying the Ukrainian flag, and they're marching towards Belbek airbase, which Russian forces took control of a few days ago.
The Russians are there because Russia keeps its Black See Fleet nearby.
Moscow says it needs to protect its interests in Crimea while Ukraine is in a political crisis.
Ukrainian TV shows the men approaching.
The Russians fire warning shots, telling them not to come any further.
The men continue.
Just when things seem to escalate, this exchange between the Russian and Ukrainian commanders.
"Let's talk, stop your crowd," the Russian says.
The Ukrainian says: "We are clashing foreheads here, two brotherly peoples. That's not right."
"You are provoking us," the Russian replies.
"But we've come to you without weapons," says the Ukrainian.
Then an uneasy calm and the standoff ends.
And later still, the Ukrainian soldiers break into a soccer match, as the Russians watch.
The pro-Russian militiamen helping Russian forces have stood their ground.
Eventually, the Ukrainians file and march off.
Back to their barracks about two kilometers away.
The airbase remains in Russian hands.
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