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Published: Thursday March 20, 2014 MYT 4:25:01 AM
Updated: Thursday March 20, 2014 MYT 4:25:01 AM

Russian troops take over another Ukrainian naval base in Crimea

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) - Russian forces took control of another Ukrainian naval base in Crimea late on Wednesday, a Ukrainian naval officer said.

Major Eduard Kusnarenko said there was no violence as the troops seized the naval transportation facility in Bakhchisaray, about 30 km (19 miles) southwest of the regional capital Simferopol.

"Russian troops came and asked us to leave the base, which we did," he told Reuters outside the base. "We will try again tomorrow to return to our post."

Russian troops fired a shot in the air as journalists tried to approach the gate to the base.

Earlier on Wednesday Russian troops seized a Ukrainian naval base in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol and raised the Russian flag.

Kusnarenko said he and 14 other servicemen had been driven away from the Bakhchisaray base and could not get in touch with their superiors in Sevastopol or with the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.

Crimea voted for union with Russia in a referendum on Sunday and President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty on Tuesday on annexing the Black Sea peninsula. Ukraine and Western leaders do not recognise the outcome of the referendum.

(Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic, Writing by Gabriela Baczynska, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

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