Ukraine Concedes Crimean Peninsula After Russia Seizes Navy Base
Ukrainian servicemen filed out of navy headquarters in Sevastopol on Wednesday with tears in their eyes after the base was seized by pro-Moscow militants, Russian troops and Cossack forces. The assault began when some 200 unarmed militants — some of them in balaclavas — sawed through a fence and overran the base while the Ukrainian servicemen barricaded themselves inside. VIKTOR DRACHEV/AFP/Getty Images
Today, Ukraine has conceded the Crimean peninsula to Russia, and is planning to relocate all military and diplomatic personnel to the mainland. The alternative, of course, would have been armed conflict — and without full military support from NATO there’s no way Ukraine could prevail against Russia.
While the provisional government in Kiev has insisted that Russia’s annexation of Crimea is illegal and has appealed to international supporters for help, the evacuation announcement by the head of the national security council, Andriy Parubiy, effectively amounted to a surrender of Crimea, at least from a military standpoint.