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Ukraine sacks defence minister over Crimea

Published on Mar 25, 2014 8:31 PM
 
Former Ukrainian Defence Minister Igor Tenyukh delivers a speech during a parliament session in Kiev on March 25, 2014. Ukraine's parliament sacked the crisis-hit country's besieged defence minister Tuesday, March 25, 2014, after his forces began a humiliating withdrawal from Crimea without firing a shot against Russian forces who claimed the Black Sea peninsula. -- PHOTO: AFP

KIEV (AFP) - Ukraine's parliament sacked the crisis-hit country's besieged defence minister Tuesday after his forces began a humiliating withdrawal from Crimea without firing a shot against Russian forces who claimed the Black Sea peninsula.

Crimea's effective loss - though recognised by no Western power - has dealt a heavy psychological blow to many Ukrainians who have already spent the past years mired in corruption and economic malaise.

Ukraine's ground commanders in Crimea had complained bitterly of indecision and confusion among the top brass in Kiev since Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision on March 1 to seek the right to use force against his neighbour in response to last month's fall in Kiev of a pro-Kremlin regime.

Some 228 deputies in the 450-seat Verkhovna Rada parliament supported Igor Tenyukh's dismissal after the acting defence minister tendered his resignation in an emotional address broadcast live across the nation of 46 million people.

 
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