Capture of the Crimean Parliament

Capture of the Crimean Parliament
Part of the Russo-Ukrainian War

Unmarked Russian soldiers at the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea
Date27 February 2014
Simferopol, Ukraine
44°57′06″N 34°05′48″E / 44.951669°N 34.096692°E / 44.951669; 34.096692
Result Russian victory
Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation on 18 March 2014
 Russia  Ukraine
Commanders and leaders
 Aleksey Dyumin
 Alexander Popov
Units involved
 Special Operations Forces
 Airborne Forces
 Armed Forces
20–120 troops Unknown
Casualties and losses
None None
Verkhovna Rada is located in Crimea
Verkhovna Rada
Verkhovna Rada
Verkhovna Rada is located in Ukraine
Verkhovna Rada
Verkhovna Rada
Location within Ukraine

On 27 February 2014, the Crimean Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine was taken over by unmarked Russian soldiers. It was among the events that triggered the Russo-Ukrainian War and laid the foundation for Crimea's annexation three weeks later. The Prosecutor's Office of Ukraine's Autonomous Republic of Crimea described the incident as a terrorist attack.[1] A few hours into the takeover, Russia replaced the Prime Minister of Crimea, removing Ukrainian politician Anatolii Mohyliov and installing Russian politician Sergey Aksyonov in his stead.

Background edit

In February 2014, following the 2014 Ukrainian revolution that ousted the Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, the Russian leadership decided to "start working on returning Crimea to Russia"[2] On February 25, a pro-Russian rally organized by the Crimean Front and Cossack organizations was held outside the building of the Crimean Verkhovna Rada. The protesters shouted pro-Russian slogans and demanded separation from Ukraine by holding a referendum. Before the protesters came the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of the ARC Volodymyr Konstantinov, announcing the extraordinary session of February 26.[3] The media reported that a question about the withdrawal of the Crimea from Ukraine could be put to the session, but Konstantinov denied such rumors, calling it the provocation of the "Makeevka team in the Crimean government".[4]

On February 26, two events took place in parallel by the walls of the ARC Verkhovna Rada: a pro-Ukrainian rally organized by the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, which gathered up to ten thousand participants, and a pro-Russian rally of about 700 people, initiated by the "Rus unity" party.[5] Due to unsatisfactory security measures taken by law enforcement officers, there were fights between pro-Ukrainian and pro-Russian rally participants, resulting in the death of two people of the pro-Russian rally. The pro-Russian rally was pushed to the inner court of the Crimean Verkhovna Rada, and scheduled the day before parliament's session was canceled.[6]

Events edit

On the morning of February 27, around 4:30, two groups of 10-15 armed men in military uniform without insignia entered the building of the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea and took control of it.[1] Immediately after the capture, the attackers were barricaded indoors, having previously removed a small number of staff.[7] Crimean People's Deputy from the UDAR Serhiy Kunitsyn said that the building was captured by 120 highly trained personnel who had a large arsenal of weapons, including automatic weapons, machine guns and grenade launchers, which would allow them to defend themselves for a long time.[8] Persons who seized the building described themselves as self-defense activists for Russian-speaking citizens of Crimea, although the Mejlis leader, Refat Chubarov, said that Russian people were in charge of these people; later it became clear that the operation was orchestrated by Russian special forces.[9]

At 8:30, the chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Crimea Anatolii Mohyliov appealed to the inhabitants of Crimea, informing them of the capture of the Verkhovna Rada of the ARC by unknown persons numbering about 50.[10] At 9 o'clock Anatolii Mohyliov announced talks, but they did not have any result, because, according to Mohyliov, the unknown people refused to speak.[11]

Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, the then-head of the SBU, believed that there was no forceful capture of the ARC Verkhovna Rada, as the local Crimean authorities, including the police, voluntarily transferred control over the building and weapons.[12]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Теракт. За фактом захоплення будівель Верховної Ради і Радміну Криму відкрито кримінальну справу" [Terrorist attack. A criminal case has been opened over the seizure of the buildings of the Verkhovna Rada and the Council of Ministers of Crimea]. Корреспондент. 27 February 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
  2. ^ "Vladimir Putin describes secret meeting when Russia decided to seize Crimea". The Guardian. Agence France-Presse. 9 March 2015. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  3. ^ ""Кримський фронт" і "казакі" блокують Верховну Раду Криму з вимогою незалежності АРК" ["Crimean Front" and "Cossacks" block the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea demanding independence of the ARC]. Український тиждень. 25 February 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  4. ^ "Кримський спікер звинувачує "донецьких" у провокаціях в автономії" [Crimean speaker accuses "Donetsk" of provocations in autonomy]. Український тиждень. 26 February 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  5. ^ "Кримський парламент так і не провів позачергове засідання" [The Crimean parliament did not hold an extraordinary session]. Український тиждень. 26 February 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  6. ^ Ігор Воробйов (25 February 2017). "Як у Криму засуджують противників приєднання до Росії" [Opponents of joining Russia are condemned in Crimea]. Німецька хвиля. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  7. ^ Дмитро Каневський (27 February 2014). "Парламент і Рада міністрів Криму захоплені озброєними людьми" [The Parliament and the Council of Ministers of Crimea are seized by armed men]. Німецька хвиля. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
  8. ^ "Будівлю Радміну й парламенту Криму захопили 120 професійно підготовлених осіб з озброєнням на місяць оборони - нардеп Куніцину" [The building of the Council of Ministers and the Parliament of Crimea was seized by 120 professionally trained people with weapons for a month of defense - People's Deputy Kunitsyn]. Інтерфакс Україна. 27 February 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
  9. ^ Михайло Глуховський (27 February 2014). "Рефат Чубаров: Людей, які захопили будівлю Верховної Ради Криму, контролює Москва" [Refat Chubarov: The people who seized the building of the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea are controlled by Moscow]. Главком. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  10. ^ "У Криму люди зі зброєю захопили парламент і Раду міністрів" [In Crimea, people with weapons seized parliament and the Council of Ministers]. Українська правда. 27 February 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
  11. ^ "Особи, які захопили адмінбудівлі Сімферополя, відмовляються проводити переговори, вони запросили до будівлі парламенту членів президії, щоб ті провели засідання - Могильов (розширена)" [Persons who seized Simferopol administrative buildings refuse to hold talks, they invited members of the presidium to the parliament building to hold a meeting - Mogilev (extended)]. Інтерфакс Україна. 27 February 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
  12. ^ ""Здачі Криму не було". Екс-глава СБУ пояснив, чому Україна не повернула контроль над АРК у лютому 2014-го" ["There was no surrender of Crimea." The former head of the Security Service of Ukraine explained why Ukraine did not regain control of the ARC in February 2014]. Новое Время. 23 February 2016. Retrieved 25 February 2017.[ ]

External links edit