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Crimean forces take Ukrainian navy HQ

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People wave Russian flags as they gather at a square to watch a televised address by Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Federation Council, in Sevastopol, Crimea, Tuesday, March 18, 2014. Putin on Tuesday fiercely defended Russia’s move to annex Crimea saying Crimea’s vote on Sunday to join Russia was in line with “democratic norms and international law.” (AP Photo/Andrew Lubimov)

People wave Russian flags as they gather at a square to watch a televised address by Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Federation Council, in Sevastopol, Crimea, Tuesday, March 18, 2014. Putin on Tuesday fiercely defended Russia’s move to annex Crimea saying Crimea’s vote on Sunday to join Russia was in line with “democratic norms and international law.” (AP Photo/Andrew Lubimov)

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SEVASTOPOL, Crimea (AP) — Crimea’s self-defense forces on Wednesday stormed the Ukrainian navy headquarters in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, taking possession without resistance a day after Russia signed a treaty with local authorities to annex the region.

An Associated Press photographer witnessed several hundred self-defense forces take down the gate and make their way onto the headquarters’ premises. They then raised the Russian flag on the square by the headquarters.

The unarmed Crimean self-defense forces waited for an hour on the square before the moved to storm the headquarters, but Ukrainian servicemen did not offer any resistance. The AP photographer was able to enter the headquarters and saw the Crimean self-defense forces roaming around while the Ukrainian servicemen were packing up and leaving.

Associated Press

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