Ukrainian Navy and Air Force Bases in Crimea taken Over by Russia

According to Jane (the British Defense News and Analysis) the majority of military personnel stationed in Crimea have joined the Russian armed forces. Those who refused to join, have left the peninsula and returned to Ukraine. According to Russian sources, some 189 Ukrainian bases on Crimea, including the Balbek airbase are under Russian control.

Moscow also confirms that Admiral Serhiy Haydukin in charge of the Ukrainian Navy was arrested and “dropped off at the border checkpoint with Ukraine”:

According to Jane:

 Ukraine’s maritime forces have been dealt a heavy blow by the Russian intervention in Crimea, with 12 of its 17 major warships and much of its naval aviation assets falling under Moscow’s control.

… [A]lmost every Ukrainian naval base and ship on the peninsula has been seized by Russian forces or local pro-Moscow self defence units.

The scale of the crisis facing the Ukrainian navy is apparent from the fact that around 12,000 of its 15,450 personnel were based in Crimea when Russia intervened on 27 February. Over the past three weeks, the majority of the Ukrainian military personnel on Crimea have defected to the Russian military or resigned from military service, according to announcements by the new pro-Kremlin administration in Crimea. Some independent media reports appear to broadly support Russian claims in this regard.

In Sevastopol, the Russians seized intact four major warship, the Grisha V-class frigates Ternopil and Lutsk , the Pauk-class corvette/patrol vessels Khmelnytskyi , and the Bambuk-class command ship Slavutych , as well as Ukraine’s only submarine, the Foxtrot-class Zaporizhzhia . Also seized in Sevastopol was the ocean-going tug Korets .

Most of Ukraine’s Navy was stationed in Crimea including 12,000 out of a total of 15,400 Navy personnel.  The remaining naval forces are stationed in Odessa.

The rump of the Ukrainian navy is now concentrated at the service’s Naval Base North at Odessa. This force boasts less than half a dozen large surface combatants as well as several small patrol craft.

Ukraine’s navy now faces an uncertain future. …

Russian naval patrols have also blockaded the access to the Sea of Azov to the east of Ukraine, cutting off military and civilian access to ports in the east of the country.

According to the report:

On 24 March, the last remaining major unit of the Ukrainian navy on Crimea still holding out – the 750 strong 1st Marine Battalion at Feodesia in the east of the peninsula – was overrun and many of its personnel were arrested. The unit’s commanders had been negotiating with the Russians to be allowed to drive off Crimea with all their vehicles, weapons, and equipment so its dispersal will be a significant blow to its morale and unit cohesion.

The fate of the last two Ukrainian air defence regiments on Crimea, the 55th regiment at Yevpatoriya and 50th regiment at Feodesia – and their S-300 and Buk-M1 weapon systems – is uncertain.

Some 2,000 Ukrainian air force and air defence personnel were believed to be based in Crimea before the crisis, along with a similar number of paramilitary police and border guard personnel. No major Ukrainian army units were trapped on Crimea, so the service has largely escaped the convulsions that have seriously impacted the country’s navy and air force. (Jane)

To consult the complete report by  Jane:

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