A former employee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Volodymyr Mertsalov, who defected to the occupant, told details of takeover of Crimea by Russian soldiers in an interview with "Novaya Gazeta".
Thus, according to Mertsalov, he led so-called "rebels" while taking the airport in Simferopol.
"On the 27th of February my company was occupying Simferopol airport. When we had cordoned the airport off, the guy ran up to me, as I learned later, it was Igor Strelkov. "Volodya, hold out a little longer. Reinforcement is coming from Sevastopol", — he told me. I try to keep cool, and I think by myself, that bikers are riding — well, who else can come to us?" — Mertsalov said.
After half an hour 10 trucks carrying Russian soldiers, without numbers and markings, drove to the airport.
"The men in uniform, with modern weapon, such as optical sights and so on, jumped out of the car. I came to their commander, lieutenant colonel, and introduced myself: "Mertsalov, commander of the Fourth Company!" — And burst into tears. At first, I thought it was special unit of the Main Intelligence Directorate, but then I found out, they were paratroopers. They then helped us to occupy the State Council and the Council of Ministers", — he said.
In the morning, when foreign and Ukrainian TV channels started showing stories about "Little Green Men", Mertsalov continued to refute strongly, that they were Russian soldiers.
"Well, I was questioned: "Is it Russian troops?" And I waved away: "I wouldn't know! I'm not an expert. They don’t have marking. And the fact that they had Kalashnikovs, doesn’t mean anything, as half the world owns them". "In general, I had to play the fool", — he said.
Mertsalov also revealed details of taking a military unit in Feodosia.
"I stormed it with Russian paratroopers, armored troop carrier drove up to the territory. But there everything was understandable, because officers trained in the United States. This is not fiction for the sake of propaganda, and in Crimea everybody, who had relation to military service, knew it. Contract soldiers were all local, so that nobody touched them. But command had been battered, there were 12 people. We released them all under orders from the center", — he said.