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Shoigu orders to ensure safe withdrawal of Ukrainian airborne unit from Crimea

March 22, 2014, 1:27 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The move follows an instruction by Russian President Vladimir Putin to show respect for Ukrainian servicemen
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© ITAR-TASS/Alexei Nikolsky

MOSCOW, March 21, 23:47 /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Defense Minister General Sergei Shoigu has allowed the servicemen of a Ukrainian airborne unit who said they would like to serve in the Ukrainian army to withdraw from Crimea.

Shoigu ordered the Russian Black Sea Fleet commander to ensure the unit’s safe passage through the Crimean territory to the border with Ukraine, the Russian Defense Ministry press and information department said on Friday.

Sixty-one servicemen of the 25th separate brigade arrived from their permanent location in Dnepropetrovsk to a testing area near the Perevalnoye populated locality in the Simferopol district of Crimea early in February. Its commander was offered to hand in weapons and military hardware and leave the peninsula.

The move follows an instruction by Russian President Vladimir Putin to show respect for Ukrainian servicemen. The Ukrainian airborne unit will march to Crimea’s border with Ukraine on 15 vehicles. The withdrawal will take place with observation of road safety regulations.

The military police of the Russian armed forces will escort the column to the Ukrainian border.

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