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Russia’s fleet has ordered Ukraine’s forces in the disputed Crimea Peninsula to surrender by 5 a.m. local time or face “a real assault,” according to a statement from a Navy commander.
“If they do not surrender before 5am tomorrow, a real assault will be started against units and divisions of the armed forces across Crimea,” Russia’s Black Sea Fleet Commander Alexander Vitko told the Interfax news agency Monday, Sky News reports.
Ukraine’s defense ministry did not immediately confirm the statement, Reuters reports. The U.N. Security Council is scheduled to hold a meeting this afternoon to address the crisis.
The reported threat came hours after Ukraine’s new leaders called for Western nations to rally against Russia’s invasion of the country’s Crimean Peninsula, making a plea for economic and political support as Moscow continued to be defiant.