Victims of Russian Annexation of Crimea
Five years ago, while they began to take over military structures on the peninsula, Russian soldiers killed a Ukrainian flagman Serhiy Kokurin. His death proves that the Kremlin's story about the bloodless annexation of Crimea is a lie. The occupation began with so called little green men, who were storming Ukrainian bases across Crimea
Russia had been ramping up its forces in Crimea since late February 2014. And in March, the so-called “little green men” – in military gear, but without insignia – mounted an assault on Ukraine’s military units – under the guise of being civilians.
“If we fired a single shot in Crimea, they would have killed women and children somewhere. Then they would show this on TV.”
On March 1, Russian militants attempted to capture Ukraine’s border operation unit in the city of Sevastopol. People in civilian clothing knocked down the gates. Then – Russian special forces broke into the territory – with weapons and military hardware in tow.
The “little green men” retreated after long negotiations with Ukrainian servicemen. On March 3, they committed another assault and, as a result, captured Ukraine’s border operation unit.
On March 2, “little green men” blockaded a Ukrainian military base in the village of Perevalne. They deployed around the base’s perimeter and demanded the Ukrainians inside lay down their weapons. The commander of the Mountain Infantry Battalion refused to surrender. Ukrainian officers, in the meantime, built barricades in some parts of the base and filmed a video for their families.
The battalion resisted to end. After a month of a blockade, the service personnel inside the Perevalne base left – when the rest of Ukrainian troops withdrew from Crimea.
Russian troops then surrounded the Ukrainian fleet on Donuzlav Lake. And on March 3, it surrounded Ukraine’s military unit on land. The Ukrainian Naval Forces received an order – to withdraw from the berth and spread out over the water. But access to Odesa was blocked by the Russian cruiser Moskva and 4 more ships. The confrontation of Ukrainian and Russian fleets lasted for 23 days. During this time, Russia captured 13 Ukrainian ships. The minesweeper Cherkasy became the last military vessel to be taken over by Moscow. It’s crew tried to clear a passage to the open sea and escape from captivity.
“Staying here wouldn’t work. Everyone surrendered. We believe that the combat history of our ship is great, and we do not want to disgrace this ship.”
This vessel, however, didn’t manage to reach the open sea. On March 26, 2014, Russia captured it with the help of two helicopters and three boats.
On March 5, trucks with Russian license plates drove to the Kerch military unit. Militants behind the wheel – carrying assault rifles – demanded Ukrainians there lay down their weapons. The sailors refused to do this. In the face of the blockade, they organized a concert – to boost their morale.
The “little green men” captured the military unit on March 20th.
On March 7th, Russia assaulted the Ukrainian military unit in Sevastopol with KAMAZ military trucks.
“Don’t you dare, guys! Who are going to protect? You just brought trouble here and now you are bringing grief!”
The “little green men” broke through the gates, and moved to the command post.
“How many people are there? – Some 40 to 60. – Inside it? – Inside. The territory is large, so they captured it from two sides,” Deputy Commander Of The “Crimea” Tactical Group of the Ukrainian Military, Vitaliy Onyshchenko said.
The Ukrainian military defended that base till March 20th. Then – its commander cut the power in the building and extracted his troops from the military base.
The Ukrainian Marine infantry battalion in Feodosia was encircled for more than three weeks.
“Here are the Russian flags they hung up. There is one on the tower, along the perimeter … There, they entrenched themselves completely and dug a huge trench so that people could not pass it at all. So that they could not get to the military base.”
On March 16th, the occupying army deployed anti-tank mines around the military base perimeter. Ukrainians, in the meantime, flew their national flag.
On the night of March 24th, the militants assaulted the battalion and brought the Ukrainian soldiers out of its territory.
In Simferopol, the Russians killed Ukrainian junior officer Serhiy Kokurin during their assault on March 18. He was on duty at the observation tower.
“At the first visual contact, I discovered that it was completely perforated with shots, just like a sieve. Then I climbed up, and saw Serhiy’s body falling out,” Lieutenant Colonel Of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, Volodymyr Shchuryk said.
The military administration was captured by Russian special forces.
On March 28th, 2014, the Russian flag was hoisted over all military facilities in Crimea. And all remaining Ukrainian soldiers were evacuated from the now occupied peninsula.