March 3 - Families of Ukrainian servicemen involved in a tense standoff with Russian forces at a military base in Crimea worry about how the situation will ultimately unfold. Mana Rabiee reports.
This is Ukraine's Perevalnoye (Pe-re-val-nye) military base in Crimea, where there's been a tense standoff with Russian forces surrounding the base. Russian troops have effectively seized the mostly-Russian speaking Crimea peninsula, where Moscow has a crucial naval base. They've have urged Ukrainian forces to give up their weapons and support regional authorities loyal to Moscow. But the Ukrainian troops inside this base have refused. Their representative addressed reporters outside. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) REPRESENTATIVE OF UKRAINIAN BASE COMMANDER, VALERY BOIKO, SAYING: "I am far from thinking that there will be an attack or a war. Nobody needs this, you or we, nobody from Ukrainian citizens to those serving in the army. I hope that the politicians will come to an agreement at their level." No shots were fired in the standoff. But the families of the servicemen stuck inside are anxious about how this might end. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) FAMILY MEMBER OF UKRAINIAN SERVICEMAN INSIDE BASE, SVETLANA GORBACHOVA, SAYING: "We are worried that some careless word, some careless move, some careless gunshot from some psycho will lead to the beginning of some bad things, the beginning of something terrible." Russia justified its seizure of Crimea by saying it needs to protect its citizens and its interests. Its ships reportedly surrounded the Crimean port city of Sevastopol on Monday. A sign that Moscow was completing its seizure of the isolated peninsula.