A year earlier, the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea used the general legal chaos and illegally created the post of President of Crimea. Yuri Meshkov's pro -Russian policy was appointed to this position, who worked closely with the Federal Security Service (FSB). Meshkov gradually increased his influence and had already controlled the Crimean police by early 1994.
Meshkov relied on three key forces in the region: the local criminality, the Crimean Ministry of Internal Affairs and FSB agents, which did not even hide their ties. In 1993, Russian "Presidential Assistants" arrived in the Crimea and settled in the sanatorium "Russia" in Yalta. In the spring of 1994, Meshkov decided to appoint his man in the Crimean SBU.
This caused anxiety from the then SBU chairman Yevgeny Marchuk, who convinced Leonid Kravchuk of the need to prevent Meshkov's actions before he officially urged Russia to help separate Crimea from Ukraine. The operation was developed by Yevgeny Marchuk, his first deputy Valery Malikov, the head of the special unit "Alfa" Vasyl Krutov and his deputy Vitaliy Romanchenko.
The situation was difficult because the local police were already under the control of Meshkov and controlled all entrances to the Crimea. In addition, Russian "Cossack patrols" operated on the peninsula, as well as the Black Sea Fleet and the Russian 810th Brigade of Marines. Russia did not interfere with the event, but could do it at any time. Members of the Alfa operational group arrived in Simferopol in different ways and undercover.
One group flew on helicopters, declining to such a height that it would not be noticed by the Russian anti -air forces. Other groups, including Vasyl Krutov and operations, came to trains, buses and cars, looking like ordinary citizens. Another group went by the sea. Thus, all the participants of the operation were able to find themselves in Simferopol, bypassing Meshkov. It was not easy to capture the SBU building. Outside, it was controlled by Meshkov's supporters from local gangs.
The members of Alfa were divided. Part of the group invisibly took positions near the building, including snipers and machine gunners. Others began to slowly penetrate into the building several people during the day, presenting only their certificates without unnecessary explanations. They also managed to deliver weapons and equipment to the building with a regular bus. The operation began on May 19, 1994. Alpha members armed and seized the SBU building under control.
The participants of the operation say that their local colleagues were mostly pro -Russian, but they felt siege. The situation in Crimea remained tense, so Alfa spent three months in Simferopol. All this time, special forces lived in the SBU building, slept on the floor in the assembly hall. They monitored other administrative buildings in Simferopol, controlled approaches to the Government and the Council of Crimea, and studied the situation. Meanwhile, Meshkov's reputation began to collapse.
An unsuccessful attempt to capture the SBU undermined his authority. In a few months, he turned into a "local crazy", which was no longer believed in the pro -Russian deputies of the Crimean Council. In March 1995, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine officially abolished the unconstitutional position of "President of Crimea". Yuri Meshkov left Crimea and left for Russia.