Ukrainian servicemen to leave Crimea unarmed and by rail

The departure of Ukrainian servicemen and their families from Crimea will begin on March 26, Russian Armed Forces General Staff Chief General of the Army Valery Gerasimov told reporters on Wednesday.

The departure of Ukrainian servicemen and their families from Crimea will begin on March 26, Russian Armed Forces General Staff Chief General of the Army Valery Gerasimov told reporters on Wednesday.

"Pursuant to the agreement between the Russian and Ukrainian Defense Ministries, servicemen of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and their families will leave Crimea by rail," he said.

"The Russian Defense Ministry in collaboration with the administration of the republic of Crimea books economy class train cars at main railroad hubs of the peninsula starting from March 26 - eight [cars] in Sevastopol, two in Simferopol, two in Yevpatoria, two in Feodosia and one in Kerch. The cars will be attached to passenger trains traveling to Ukraine," he said.

"All servicemen who have expressed their wish to serve in the Ukrainian Armed Forces have laid down their arms and left the premises of military units. They are preparing for organized departure to Ukraine with their personal belongings," he said.

"A temporary registration post was opened at 6, Lazareva Street in Sevastopol. About 1,500 servicemen of the Ukrainian Armed Forces were registered as of March 25," Gerasimov said.

After they cross the border, all servicemen of the Ukrainian Armed Forces arriving from Crimea will come to an assembly post deployed on the premises of Ukrainian military unit No A-1978, the Novoalekseyevka station, for being assigned to a new place of their service.

"As of March 26 the Russian flag has been hoisted in all the 193 military units and institutions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces deployed in Crimea," the General Staff Chief continued.

Servicemen lined up for ceremonies, at which the Russian flag was hoisted and the Russian anthem was played. "Inventory of military property is being taken and servicemen are being attested at these military units and institutions," Gerasimov said.

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