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No shots were fired in and no injuries were reported.

Russia has described the troops who wear green uniforms without insignia as local “self-defense forces.” But Onishchenko said the troops who tried to overrun his base were clearly Russian.

“These were Russian servicemen specially ordered,” he said. “Their watches were set to Moscow time. They spoke with Russian accents and they didn’t hide their allegiance to the Russian Federation.”

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Dmitry Vlasov in Armiansk, Tim Sullivan in Simferopol, Mike Eckel and John-Thor Dahlburg in Kiev, Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow and Danica Kirka in London contributed to this report.