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Ukrainian Navy’s commander detained in Sevastopol - prosecutor’s office

March 19, 2014, 16:11 UTC+3 SEVASTOPOL
The prosecutor’s office explained that, according to their sources, Gaiduk had passed on to Ukrainian military units Kiev’s orders to use weapons against civilians
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Sergei Gaiduk (archive)

Sergei Gaiduk (archive)

© AP Photo/Andrew Lubimov

SEVASTOPOL, March 19. /ITAR-TASS/. The Ukrainian Navy’s commander Sergei Gaiduk has been temporarily detained by the prosecutor’s office in Sevastopol.

“There are questions to be put to him,” the Sevastopol prosecutor’s office has told the KrymInform news agency about the reasons for the detention.

The prosecutor’s office explained that, according to their sources, Gaiduk had passed on to Ukrainian military units Kiev’s orders to use weapons against civilians.

Earlier, Itar-Tass reported that Sergei Gaiduk followed by around 50 officers abandoned the territory of the fleet headquarters in Sevastopol, taking away all their belongings and documents.

The Ukrainian officers walked away from the territory unimpeded; their relatives welcomed them at the gate. The Sevastopol activists and members of the self-defense forces watched them with no signs of aggression. Vice-Admiral Gaiduk drove off in a car with Ukrainian license plates and tinted windows.

On Wednesday morning, representatives of the self-defense forces and participants in a meeting held near the building of the fleet headquarters entered the territory of the military unit and hoisted a Russian and St. Andrew's flags on the masts. After the Russian flag was up the Russian national anthem was played. No force against the Ukrainian servicemen was used.

After that, Russian Black Sea Fleet Commander Vice-Admiral Alexander Vitko arrived at the headquarters of the Ukrainian Navy to meet Ukrainian Navy Commander Vice-Admiral Sergei Gaiduk. The Russian Black Sea fleet commander and a Black Sea fleet officer stayed in the building of the Ukrainian Navy headquarters for around 15 minutes and left, making no comment.

Before leaving the Russian Black Sea fleet commander and the Russian officer had talked to the former Chief of the Ukrainian General headquarters Admiral Yuri Ilyin and ex-commander of the Ukrainian Navy Viktor Maksimov. The subject of discussion was not disclosed. Nonetheless, later Ilyin told journalists that he arrived "to keep the process in peaceful framework."

Neither Ilyin, nor Maksimov were admitted to talks held with Vice-Admiral Gaiduk.

Sevastopol Mayor Aleksei Chalyi had earlier declared that all the Ukrainian servicemen in Sevastopol might abandon their military units and go to a temporary registration office, pending further instructions.

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