UK

Crimea: 'Shots Fired' As Ukrainian Base Stormed By Russian Troops

22/03/2014 15:53 GMT | Updated 22/03/2014 18:59 GMT

Shot were fired and stun grenades were thrown as Russian troops stormed the Ukrainian-held Belbek air force base in Crimea on Saturday. According to Reuters, armoured vehicles smashed through one of the walls of the compound, followed by sporadic gunfire.

On Ukrainian serviceman is reportedly injured, while the base commander, Colonel Yuliy Mamchu, is currently in the custody of Russian forces at an undisclosed location. On leaving the base, Mamchu said he didn’t know if he would be able to return, adding: “For now we are placing all our weapons in the base's storage."

belbek

Colonel Yuliy Mamchu has been taken for talks by the Russian forces

Before the compound was stormed, Ukrainian forces had been given an hour to surrender by their Russian counterparts.

One Ukrainian officer told Reuters: "We did not provoke this, this was brute force. I do not know whether this base will be formally in Russian hands by the end of the day.”