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You're reading: Russian forces on move today in Crimea, seize military hospital in Simferopol and base in Bakhchisaray
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The Russian move to consolidate their hold on Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula comes ahead of a referendum on March 16 that will ask voters in the two-million person peninsula to vote for independence from Ukraine and to rejoin Russia.

Some 20-30 men in military uniforms captured the military hospital at about noon today. They carried truncheons and threatened hospital workers and some 30 patients, who are Ukrainian soldiers or veterans.

“People are really fearing for their lives,” said Evgen Pyvoval, the hospital’s director. He said the captures crammed him into a bus and kept him there for 30 minutes. “We don’t know what their demands are,” Pyvoval said.

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