Armed men, believed to be Russian servicemen, gather on a hill near a military base in the Crimean town of Belbek outside Sevastopol March 22, 2014. Russian troops have surrounded the Ukrainian airbase in Crimea and issued an ultimatum to forces inside to surrender, the deputy commander of the base in Belbek, near Sevastopol, said on Saturday. - Reuters/Shamil Zhumatov
BELBEK: Armed forces backed by armoured vehicles broke inside a Ukrainian airbase in Crimea on Saturday, firing from automatic weapons into the air, an AFP correspondent saw.
An armoured vehicle rammed through the gate of the base, and an ambulance was also seen approaching with sirens blaring, as armed men went inside and pointed guns at Ukrainian soldiers.
A man in camouflage and sunglasses then dismantled a camera that provided a live feed of the front gate to the base. AFP reporters saw at least three armoured personnel carriers enter the airbase.
Earlier on Saturday, the Belbek base wrote on its website that troops inside had received an ultimatum from Russian forces to lay down their weapons and surrender or prepare to be stormed.- AFP