SEVASTOPOL, March 03. /ITAR-TASS/. Hundreds of activists and people’s volunteers are gathering outside the Ukrainian Navy headquarters in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, Itar-Tass reports.
The picketers standing next to one of the headquarters’ checkpoints are holding Russian tricolors and the Russian Navy St. Andrew flags. The checkpoints are being protected by members of Sevastopol’s volunteer self-defense units, including Cossacks.
The people gathering outside the headquarters fear various provocations and riots and want to save their friends and relatives serving in the Ukrainian Navy from any infringements.
Armed servicemen are protecting the Navy headquarters’ main entrance. Their faces are covered. They are checking everybody who enters or leaves the building and are not allowing strangers to get inside. The passing cars are greeting the demonstrators with sirens.
The commanders of Ukrainian and Crimean Navies, Admirals Sergei Gaiduk and Denis Berezovsky, held a meeting earlier on Monday. They were offered to make a choice — either to continue serving in the Ukrainian Navy or come under the command of the Crimean Navy.
In the meanwhile, Admiral Sergei Gaiduk, the Ukrainian Navy commander, told journalists on Monday that the Ukrainian military would not allow weapons to be used and blood spilled in the Navy-controlled territories.
“I am going to be absolutely open and sincere. We will do everything possible and the impossible to avert the bloodshed. I am appealing to journalists and the population and everybody who hears me. All of you should understand that the Ukrainian Navy is posing no threat to the people of Sevastopol or Crimea,” Gaiduk went on to say.
He said that people serving in the Ukrainian Navy have parents, wives and children in Crimea.
“As for the use of weapons, I have given a clear order to all naval commanders to do everything possible and even the impossible to prevent the use of weapons,” Admiral Gaiduk stressed.