A puzzling array of conflicting stories have emerged about an incident today at a Ukrainian missile base in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol, which was surrounded or by some reports raided by a group of men in military uniforms with no identifying marks on them.
Such men have been an increasingly common site in the Crimea, mostly ethnic Russians backing the secessionist movement, but Ukrainian officials simply dubbed them Russian soldiers. They also issued a statement claiming to have fought the soldiers off, though no shots were fired.
The most recent reports suggest no fighting at all occurred at the base, and that the men arrived in two lorries, and left after some “negotiations” on some unspecified issues.
It’s impossible to know exactly who these men were, and if they were affiliated with the Crimean government or not. It could be speculated that they were trying to get the soldiers to defect, as many other Ukrainian troops have done in Crimea. Nevertheless, the narrative doesn’t seem to hinge on the particulars, and simply seeks to blame Russia for an “attack” that doesn’t appear to have even happened.
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