Ukraine's Crimea base taken, commander detained

SEVASTOPOL, Crimea (AP) — Masked Russian-speaking troops have seized control of Ukrainian naval headquarters in Crimea after it was stormed by several hundred militiamen.

Pro-Moscow authorities in Crimea also detained the Ukrainian navy commander and reportedly blocked the defense minister and another government official from traveling to the peninsula to try to defuse tensions.

The seizure of the naval headquarters came a day after a confrontation between Ukrainian soldiers and pro-Russian militia left two dead.

Ukraine's Defense Ministry says no one was injured in today's raid, which it says was led by pro-Russian militiamen and Cossacks.

Ukraine's military is heavily outnumbered in Crimea, which is home to Russia's Black Sea Fleet. Tens of thousands of Russian-led troops are now patrolling Crimea.

Yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty to incorporate Crimea into Russia. That followed a referendum Sunday in which residents of the region overwhelmingly backed the move.

%@AP Links

144-r-19-(Sound of men shouting, at Crimean headquarters building for Ukrainian navy)--Sound of hundreds of militiamen shouting and storming through a broken doorway at the Crimean headquarters of the Ukrainian navy. (19 Mar 2014)

<<CUT *144 (03/19/14)££ 00:19

145-r-11-(Sound of pounding and men talking loudly, outside of Crimean headquarters building for Ukrainian navy)--Sound of pounding as hundreds of militiamen await an attempt to break through an iron gate and into the Crimean headquarters of the Ukraininan navy. (19 Mar 2014)

<<CUT *145 (03/19/14)££ 00:11

094-c-05-(Nataliya Vasilyeva (nuh-TAL'-ee-uh va-SEEL'-ee-uh-vah, AP correspondent)-"to leave peacefully"-AP correspondent Nataliya Vasilyeva reports the self-defense forces that stormed the Ukrainian navy base in Sevastopol are not armed. ((watch for dating)) (19 Mar 2014)

<<CUT *094 (03/19/14)££ 00:05 "to leave peacefully"

APPHOTO MOSB115: Crimean pro-Russian self-defense forces open a gate to the territory of the Ukrainian navy headquarters in Sevastopol, Crimea, Wednesday, March 19, 2014. Crimea's self-defense forces on Wednesday stormed the Ukrainian navy headquarters in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, taking possession without resistance a day after Russia signed a treaty with local authorities to annex the region. (AP Photo/Andrew Lubimov) (19 Mar 2014)

<<APPHOTO MOSB115 (03/19/14)££

APPHOTO MOSB114: Crimean self-defense forces, with Russian flags and a Russian navy flag, enter the territory of the Ukrainian navy headquarters in Sevastopol, Crimea, Wednesday, March 19, 2014. Crimea's self-defense forces on Wednesday stormed the Ukrainian navy headquarters in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, taking possession without resistance a day after Russia signed a treaty with local authorities to annex the region. (AP Photo/Andrew Lubimov) (19 Mar 2014)

<<APPHOTO MOSB114 (03/19/14)££

APPHOTO MOSB113: Ukrainian servicemen defend the entrance of the Ukrainian Navy headquarters from Crimean pro-Russian self-defense forces in Sevastopol, Crimea, Wednesday, March 19, 2014. Crimea's self-defense forces on Wednesday stormed the Ukrainian navy headquarters in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, taking possession without resistance a day after Russia signed a treaty with local authorities to annex the region. (AP Photo/Andrew Lubimov) (19 Mar 2014)

<<APPHOTO MOSB113 (03/19/14)££

APPHOTO MOSB112: Crimean pro-Russian self-defense forces scuffle with Ukrainian servicemen outside the Ukrainian navy headquarters in Sevastopol, Crimea, Wednesday, March 19, 2014. Crimea's self-defense forces on Wednesday stormed the Ukrainian navy headquarters in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, taking possession without resistance a day after Russia signed a treaty with local authorities to annex the region. (AP Photo/Andrew Lubimov) (19 Mar 2014)

<<APPHOTO MOSB112 (03/19/14)££

APPHOTO MOSB110: Members of the Crimean self-defense force walk inside the Ukrainian Navy headquarters in Sevastopol, Crimea, Wednesday, March 19, 2014. An Associated Press photographer said several hundred militiamen took down the gate and made their way onto the base. They then raised the Russian flag on the square by the headquarters. The unarmed militia waited for an hour in the square before the move to storm the headquarters. Following the arrival of the commander of the Russian Black Sea fleet, the Crimeans took over the building. (AP Photo/Andrew Lubimov) (19 Mar 2014)

<<APPHOTO MOSB110 (03/19/14)££

APPHOTO MOSB129: Crimean pro-Russian self-defense forces walk through the Ukrainian navy headquarters, with a picture of 19th century Ukrainian poet and writer Taras Shevchenko, in Sevastopol, Crimea, Wednesday, March 19, 2014. Crimea's self-defense forces on Wednesday stormed the Ukrainian navy headquarters in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, taking possession without resistance a day after Russia signed a treaty with local authorities to annex the region. (AP Photo/Andrew Lubimov) (19 Mar 2014)

<<APPHOTO MOSB129 (03/19/14)££

APPHOTO MOSB125: Chief of the Russian Black Sea Fleet Alexander Vitko leaves the Ukrainian navy headquarters stormed by Crimean pro-Russian self-defense forces in Sevastopol, Crimea, Wednesday, March 19, 2014. Crimea's self-defense forces on Wednesday stormed the Ukrainian navy headquarters in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, taking possession without resistance a day after Russia signed a treaty with local authorities to annex the region. (AP Photo/Andrew Lubimov) (19 Mar 2014)

<<APPHOTO MOSB125 (03/19/14)££

APPHOTO MOSB122: Members of the Crimean pro-Russian self-defense forces climb up to take down a Ukrainian flag, right, and a Ukrainian navy flag, left, at the Ukrainian navy headquarters in Sevastopol, Crimea, Wednesday, March 19, 2014. Crimea's self-defense forces on Wednesday stormed the Ukrainian navy headquarters in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, taking possession without resistance a day after Russia signed a treaty with local authorities to annex the region. In center is a Russian flag. (AP Photo/Andrew Lubimov) (19 Mar 2014)

<<APPHOTO MOSB122 (03/19/14)££