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Wives, neighbours hold war of words in armed Crimea standoff

Published on Mar 3, 2014 9:06 PM

PEREVALNOYE, Ukraine (REUTERS) - If there is a frontline in Russia's so far bloodless military operation in Ukraine, it is here at a run-down base near a village on a highway through the mountains of Crimea, where Ukrainian troops are holed up, refusing to surrender to hundreds of Russians who have them surrounded.

The battle is not between the troops, who despite the standoff have not fired a shot in anger, but in the arguments among the civilians who have come here to support one side, the other, or sometimes - both.

A cluster of men from a nearby village carried Russian flags and periodically chanted "Russia! Russia!". They shouted at and chased away four women who came bringing food for the Ukrainian troops trapped inside the base.

Walking away, Ms Ludmila Ivkina mumbled: "They can shout,'Russia' all they want, but we can't talk about Ukraine when standing on our own land."

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