Preparations are under way for disbanding the Russian Army’s 126th Division, based in Crimea and attached to the Black Sea Fleet as a coastal defense force, the Russian Defense Ministry’s daily Krasnaya Zvezda confirmed September 1. The measure, to be completed by November 16, had been agreed upon at high-level Russian-Ukrainian negotiations in May and August. The Division is the last major Russian land unit on Ukraine’s territory. Only 30 of its 600 officers and NCOs have accepted the offer to serve in the Ukrainian army.
In a related development, Sevastopol mayor Viktor Semenov (elected as a Russian nationalist but recently turned loyal to Ukraine) has warned that he may cut off electricity to the Black Sea Fleet, Interfax-Ukraine reported September 4. The Russian-controlled fleet, which uses Sevastopol as its main base, owes the city more than 700 billion karbovantsy, or almost $ 4.5 milion, in electric bills and taxes.
British Visit Helps Boost Ukraine’s International Status.