SEVASTOPOL, March 5 (RIA Novosti) – The flagship of the Ukrainian Navy was diverted from returning to its home port in Crimea and will dock in Odessa instead, a military source told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.
The frigate Hetman Sahaydachny, which remains under Ukrainian control, was diverted to Odessa by naval commanders as many of the sailors and officers on board had voiced a desire to defect to an independent Crimean government, the source said.
Earlier reports in Russian media that the crew had already mutinied over the weekend proved unfounded.
The head of the country’s navy, Rear Admiral Denis Berezovsky, pledged allegiance to the Crimean side over the weekend.
The Hetman Sahaydachny, based at the Crimean port of Sevastopol, had been deployed on an anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden. The ship passed through the Dardanelles on its way to the Black Sea on Tuesday morning.