Russians seize Ukraine’s Crimea missile units: Report

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Members of the Russian forces stand guard at the gateway of Ukrainian unit in the small Crimean city of Kerch on

Russian forces have reportedly seized two Ukrainian missile defense units in Ukraine’s southern Crimea region.

Russian troops took control of two missile defense battalions in the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula on Wednesday, Russia’s Interfax news agency quoted a military source as saying.

“We now expect the arrival of Russian missile specialists and pro-Russian activists who will have to persuade the Ukrainian military personnel to carry out joint combat duties,” the source said.

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry, however, has not confirmed the report.

The development comes as 15 members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) agreed to participate in a military observer mission in Ukraine.

The OSCE said its observers will monitor the situation in the autonomous region of Crimea at Ukraine’s request.

Last week, the upper house of the Russian parliament unanimously approved President Vladimir Putin’s request to deploy troops into Crimea. Moscow said the move complies with Russian-Ukrainian agreements to protect Russia’s Crimean naval base.

Russia has sent hundreds of its troops to the Ukrainian territory of Crimea.[Press TV]