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Ukrainian Military Takes Deserted Russian Fleet Navigation Station (Video)

Ukrainian troops patrolling the grounds of the navigation station.

Ukrainian soldiers have taken over a navigation station in mainland Ukraine that the country has long sought to have returned by the Russian Black Sea fleet, a news report said Thursday.

The station, designated Mars-75, in Ukraine's Kherson region was taken over Wednesday by Ukrainian forces who now guard it, KhersonOnline reported. The outlet also reported that Russian forces vacated the facility two months ago.

A video posted on YouTube provides footage of the troops telling local residents that they represent Ukraine.

A video of the Ukrainian troops speaking to locals at the base's entrance gate. (Gennady Osmak / YouTube)

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry has long advocated the return of lighthouses and other equipment at the facility to Ukrainian hydrography authorities.

During the administration of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko the country's authorities had tried to use legal means to transfer the station, but were unsuccessful.

The station is not the first facility to change hands between Ukrainian and Russian forces, though previous transfers were the result of Russian forces seizing Ukrainian military bases in the recently-annexed Crimea region.

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