KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — The pro-Russian prime minister of Ukraine’s restive Crimea is claiming control of all military forces, police and other security services in the region.
In a statement reported by local and Russian news agencies on Saturday, Sergei Aksenov declares that the armed forces, the police, the national security service and border guards will answer only to his orders. He says that any commanders who don’t agree should leave their posts.
Aksenov, the head of the main pro-Russia party on the peninsula, was appointed by the Crimean parliament on Thursday as tensions soared over Crimea’s resistance to the new authorities in Kiev, who took power last week.
Armed men described as Russian troops on Friday took control of key airports in Crimea, where the Russian Black Sea Fleet is based.