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Raw: Pro-Russian Forces Storm Ukrainian Air Base

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Pro-Russian forces stormed a Ukrainian air force base in Crimea, firing shots and stun grenades and smashing through concrete walls with armored personnel carriers. The base commander said at least one person was wounded. (March 22)

SHOTLIST

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Belbek, Crimea - March 22, 2014

1. Pro-Russian Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) coming through hole in wall of Belbek Air Base, troops run to the side and kick photographer and take his camera, behind another APC comes through wall

2. Pro-Russian troops with guns running behind an APC

3. Running shot with audio of explosions and people yelling, wide of base seen as cameraman ducks behind rock

4. Pro-Russian soldiers on top of APC as it moves behind a wall

5. Ukrainian airmen grouped together

STORYLINE

Pro-Russian forces stormed a Ukrainian air force base in Crimea, firing shots and smashing through concrete walls with armoured personnel carriers.

At least one person was wounded, the base commander said.

An APC also smashed open the front gate of the Belbek base near the port city of Sevastopol.

Two ambulances arrived and then departed shortly after, and at least one of them was carrying what appeared to be a wounded person, an Associated Press journalist said.

The base is now thought to be under Russian control.

The Ukrainian commander of the base, Yuliy Mamchur, said there was at least one injury.

He called his men together, they sang the Ukrainian national anthem and then stood at ease.

He said they are going to turn over their weapons.

The men who stormed the base didn't wear any insignia.

A Ukrainian Defence Ministry spokesman, Vladislav Seleznev, said on Facebook that they were part of the local militias that have been formed over the past several weeks, but their machine guns and APCs appeared to indicate a military connection.

The base is now thought to be under Russian control.

Russian forces have been seizing Ukrainian military facilities for several days in the Black Sea peninsula, which voted a week ago to secede and join Russia.

The Russian Defence Ministry said on Friday less than 2,000 of 18,000 Ukrainian servicemen in Crimea had "expressed a desire to leave for Ukraine."

The ministry, however, stopped short of saying the remainder of the troops would serve in the Russian army.

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