KIEV, March 5 (RAPSI) – Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office ordered the detainment of rear-admiral Denis Berezovsky, former commander of the Ukrainian Navy, UNN agency reports on Wednesday quoting acting Prosecutor General Oleg Makhnytskiy.
On February 22, the Verkhovna Rada impeached Viktor Yanukovich and amended the constitution. The presidential powers were assigned to the parliament speaker Turchinov. The parliament scheduled presidential election for May 25.
Crimea, a peninsula of some 2 million people, has resisted the authority of the leadership that came to power last month after the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych, which followed months of mainly peaceful protests in Kiev. Russian President Vladimir Putin this week described the current Ukrainian government as illegitimate, in effect bolstering the Crimean government’s position.
On February 25 a group of Crimean residents started an open-ended protest rally at the parliament building. They demand that the republican parliament refuse to recognize the new Ukrainian leadership, which has come to power through public unrest and bloody clashes in Kiev, and hold a referendum to choose the development path for the Crimea.
On February 27, Vasily Aksyonov, leader of the “Russian Unity” movement was appointed prime minister. Later, Aksyonov declared that more than 5,500 of Ukrainian soldiers defected to the command of the autonomous republic of Crimea. On Sunday, Navy commander Denis Berezovsky stated that he had pledged allegiance to Crimean people.
Kiev authorities declared that Berezovsky is no longer in command of the Ukrainian Navy and initiated a probe, ordering the special law enforcement squads to apprehend him.