PX*209446Troops at one of the last major Ukrainian bases in Crimea defiantly sang their national anthem on Saturday as Russian forces stormed their compound and demanded their surrender. Russian soldiers and armed pro-Kremlin toughs assaulted the base just after lunchtime, backed by armoured vehicles that smashed through the compound’s gates. The raid came after the Ukrainians had pointedly ignored a deadline from the Russians to surrender, even holding a wedding celebration at the base for a newly-married serviceman and his bride. As the Russian force, bristling with heavy machine guns, over-ran the base, the Ukrainians realised it was pointless to try to fight back. Instead, they lined up on the parade ground and burst into song as the intruders held them at gunpoint. The symbolic gesture of defiance took place at the Belbek air base near Sevastopol, which was the scene of one of the first stand-offs in Crimea last month when the base’s commander had a face-to-face confrontation with Russian troops. MORE