Pro-Russia Gunmen Seize Crimea Hospital

Men are said to be Russian soldiers or militia
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 10, 2014 1:12 PM CDT
A convoy of military vehicles bearing no license plates travels on the road from Sevastopol to Simferopol, Crimea, Ukraine, Monday, March 10, 2014.   (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

(Newser) – As many as 30 armed men said to be Russian soldiers today seized control of a military hospital in Crimea, threatening staff and 30 patients in the regional capital of Simferopol. The men broke into the hospital, which treats soldiers and veterans, some of whom are said to be seriously ill, and brought the staff into a room to meet "the new directors." The hospital director says he was forced onto a bus and held there for 30 minutes, the BBC reports.

Meanwhile, about 10 unidentified armed men fired into the air as they attempted to take control of a Ukrainian naval post in Crimea, Reuters reports. The BBC says these were also pro-Russian troops, but that Ukrainian soldiers drove them back. Pro-Russia troops have blockaded Ukrainian troops and taken over military installations elsewhere in Crimea. Crimea votes Sunday whether to secede from Ukraine and join Russia, in a referendum Kiev and Western nations say is illegal. NATO agreed today to deploy jets to monitor the Ukrainian borders. (Read more Crimea stories.)

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