March 25 - Ukrainian troops pull out of their bases in Crimea, cross the Ukrainian border and pledge to remain loyal to their country. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
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Ukranian troops come home.
Since the start of the month, many have been besieged on bases in Crimea. They offered no armed resistance, but refused to surrender, after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared Moscow's right to intervene in Crimea.
Kiev's leadership, bowing to the reality on the ground, announced Ukrainian forces were being pulled out to spare them and their families further Russian threats.
(SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) MARINE, BOGDAN VISHAMIRSKIY, SAYING:
"We have returned to the fatherland, thus honoring our loyalty to the Ukrainian people and the country until the end. And here, in the fatherland, we hope that we will be told something about our future. So far no one has given us any accurate information. The information war is going on now, they tried to convince us to stay there, but our spirit was strong and they just couldn't break us!"
Moscow formally annexed Crimea last week.
(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) MARINE, EVGENY TSEFRANETS, SAYING:
"We will continue to be loyal to Ukraine. We serve neither politicians nor the authorities. We serve the people who are around us and who value us. We don't want anything else."
Ukraine's acting defense minister was dismissed Tuesday over his handling of Russia's annexation of Crimea.
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