SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine – There has been no fighting in Crimea as a supposed Russian ultimatum for two Ukrainian warships to surrender passed without action from either side.
Two Ukrainian warships remained anchored in the Crimean port of Sevastopol early Tuesday, a day after Ukrainian authorities claimed that Russian forces had issued an ultimatum for the ships to surrender or be seized. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Vladimir Anikin said late Monday that no ultimatum had been issued.
Russian troops said to be 16,000 strong tightened their grip on Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula on Monday. Russian soldiers controlled all Crimean border posts, as well as military facilities in the territory and a ferry terminal in the city of Kerch, just 20 kilometers (12 miles) across the water from Russia.