The Russian flag is now flying over all the military facilities in Crimea, following Moscow’s seizure of the region from Ukraine, Russia’s top general said on Wednesday.
The announcement by military chief of staff General Valery Gerasimov came after Russian troops on Tuesday stormed the last naval vessel still flying the Ukrainian flag in Crimea and said they now have complete control over all military bases.
“The flags of the Russian Federation have been raised at all 193 military installations in Crimea,” said Gerasimov, quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency, adding that flag raising ceremonies had taken place with the singing of the Russian national anthem.
He said those Ukrainian servicemen wishing to leave Crimea could freely do so by rail and then be sent on to new postings by the Ukrainian military once they were outside Crimea.
Gerasimov added that some 1,500 Ukrainian soldiers who formerly served in Crimea had so far registered at a central registration point in the Crimean capital Simferopol to organize their departure.
Russia has this month annexed Crimea after a referendum’s results showed that the Crimeans overwhelmingly want to join the Russian Federation.