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Crimea authorities release detained Ukraine navy chief: President

Published on Mar 20, 2014 3:12 PM
 
Newly appointed Ukrainian commander of the Black Sea Fleet Sergey Gayduk speaks in front of the Headquarters of the Ukrainian Navy near Sevastopol on March 3, 2014, as it was being blocked by unidentified armed men. Crimean authorities have released the head of the Ukrainian navy whom they had seized during a raid on a base in the rebel peninsula, Ukraine's acting president said. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

KIEV (AFP/Reuters) - Crimean authorities have released the head of the Ukrainian navy whom they had seized during a raid on a base in the rebel peninsula, Ukraine's acting president said.

"Rear admiral Sergiy Gayduk was released tonight along with all the other civilian hostages... seized by Russian soldiers and members of the self-declared authorities of Crimea" on Wednesday, Mr Oleksandr Turchynov was quoted as saying in a statement by the Interfax news agency.

A Ukrainian military spokesman said Admiral Serhiy Haiduk had been driven away from a navy compound in Russian-controlled Crimea by what appeared to be Russian special forces.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu asked the authorities in Crimea on Thursday to free the detained hostages and allow them safe passage out of the region.