Witness Mamchur says Yanukovych's letter to Putin led to annexation of Crimea
Colonel of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Yuliy Mamchur, an MP from the Bloc of Petro Poroshenko, believes that former President Viktor Yanukovych's address to Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 1, 2014, calling for the use of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine, had led to the occupation and annexation of Crimea.
"This statement had led to the aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, the legitimization of its actions that occurred on February 27-28, and in the future, after the appearance of this document, the aggressiveness of the behavior of Russian servicemen in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea had only increased," he said during his interrogation as a prosecution witness at Obolonsky District Court of Kyiv in the Yanukovych treason case.
In his opinion, this appeal by Yanukovych to Putin "actually contributed to the occupation of Crimea and its further annexation."
Mamchur also said that from February 20 to February 27, 2014, he had not received in writing any measures taken by Yanukovych.
As reported, on March 22, 2014, the base of the Ukrainian military airfield in Belbek, where the 204th tactical aviation brigade is deployed, was seized by Russian special forces. Ukrainian soldiers were pelted with stun grenades, and the entrance gates were smashed by armored personnel carriers.
The Russian military also arrested the commander of the 204th tactical aviation brigade of the military unit in Belbek, Mamchur, and sent him to prison in Sevastopol. They also captured Deputy Commander of the Ukrainian Navy Ihor Voronchenko.
Mamchur was released on March 26.