BREAKING: Shooting Starts in Crimea as Putin Defends Annexation
March 18, 2014 - 9:21 am
Multiple outlets are reporting that Russian troops stormed a Ukrainian military base in Simferopol, Crimea today. At this point, Reuters is reporting one Ukrainian soldier was killed; this Die Welt report says the soldier was wounded.
Troops stormed a Ukrainian base on the outskirts of Simferopol on Tuesday, according to a Ukrainian military spokesman.
One Ukrainian officer was reported to have been wounded in the neck. There was no immediate indication of who was behind the incident, although Kyiv soon afterwards said Russia was responsible for the attack.
Immediately after the incident, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk said the conflict had moved from a political to a military stage.
“Today, Russian soldiers began shooting at Ukrainian servicemen,” said Yatseniuk. “This is a war crime.”
The storming of the base in Simferopol comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered an address to his rubber-stamp parliament. In that address Putin called Crimea an integral part of Russia. Putin also accused Ukraine’s current leaders of being controlled by anti-Semitic radicals, and stated that Russia had no choice but to intervene in Crimea once Yanukovych was ousted. Putin’s address sets the stage for the annexation of Crimea, and lays down the logic by which he will eventually move into eastern Ukraine.
Breaking: A Ukrainian soldier is killed at Simferopol base as Russians were storming it
— Myroslava Petsa (@myroslavapetsa) March 18, 2014
More: CNN reports that a Ukrainian warrant officer is the soldier killed in today’s violence.