Russian units transferred from securing the Sochi games to the Ukraine border
February 24, 2014
DEBKAfile’s military sources report that units of the Russian forces which formed a steel ring around the Olympic Winter Games that ended in Sochi Sunday were flown and shipped Monday, Feb. 24 to Russian bases at the Ukrainian Crimean port of Sevastopol, as Moscow refused to recognize the legitimacy of the new authorities in Kiev.
Giant Russian Air Force transports and rapid deployment forces were placed on alert at the Rostov on-Don base east of the predominantly Russian-speaking southeastern Ukrainian town of Donetsk.
Russian military movements were also sighted near Belgorod, a Russian town 40 kilometers from the Ukraine border and north of its second largest town of Kharkov. There, too, most of the inhabitants are Russian speaking with a strong affinity to Moscow – in contrast to their European-oriented compatriots in the capital, Kiev.
These military movements were accompanied by sharp Russian rhetoric in Moscow’s first direct response to the tumult in Kiev and ouster of the pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych, against whom Kiev police Monday issued a warrant for mass murder.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Monday: “Today I see no legitimate Ukrainian partners for a dialogue. If people crossing Kyiv in black masks and Kalashnikov rifles are considered a government, it will be difficult for us to work with such a government,” he said, calling it “the result of a mutiny.”