Russian Troops Seize Gas Plant Beyond Crimean Border, Ukraine Says
By ANDREW E. KRAMERMARCH 15, 2014
KIEV, Ukraine — Scores of Russian troops that landed by helicopter seized a gas plant just beyond the regional border of Crimea on Saturday, the Ukrainian government said. The action was Russia’s most provocative since its forces took over Crimea two weeks ago.
The latest troop advance came one day before Crimea was set to vote on whether to secede from Ukraine, and it was testing Ukrainian leaders’ resolve to engage Russia’s much more powerful military if it moved beyond Crimea.
By late afternoon, Ukrainian troops were stationed outside the gas plant, which is on a slender sand bar to the east of the Crimean Peninsula, according to Unian, a Ukrainian news service, which quoted the local police. The news agency did not say if shots were fired.
The Ukrainian foreign ministry issued a statement saying that the nation reserved the right to use all necessary measures to stop what it called a “military invasion by Russia.”