MOSCOW – Three Ukrainian military officers on the Crimean peninsula remained missing Sunday and were believed to be held by Russian forces, a Ukrainian official said, as the Russians continued to seek full control of the peninsula’s military sites.
Col. Yuli Mamchur, the commander of an air force unit stationed in the town of Lubimovka near Sevastopol, had been missing more than 24 hours Sunday evening after he was taken by Russian troops, said Alexei Mazepa, a Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman.
The deputy commander of Ukraine’s navy, Ihor Voronchenko, also was unaccounted for and believed held by the Russians after he left navy headquarters in Sevastopol, which is under Russian control, Mazepa said.
Another officer, navy Capt. V.M. Demyanenko, was taken by the Russians in Sevastopol on Sunday morning and his whereabouts remained unknown by evening.
Russian forces occupied Crimea late last month, surrounding most Ukrainian military bases and units. Russian President Vladimir Putin declared last week that his country was taking over Crimea after a referendum among the region’s voters, a majority of whom speak Russian, backing annexation.
The Russian Defense Ministry press service reported Sunday that its nation’s flag has been raised and the Russian national anthem sung at the sites of 189 Ukrainian military units deployed in Crimea.
Los Angeles Times