The Ukrainian interim prime minister has said that the death of a Ukrainian military officer on a base in Crimea was at the hands of Russian military forces, who rushed the military base after the official treaty was signed uniting Russia and Crimea. More information will become available as the story develops, but at the moment Russia has made no comment on the charges.
Tensions in the disputed region of Crimea reached new heights Tuesday as Ukraine said a military officer was killed shortly after Russia formally annexed the breakaway peninsula.
Interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk blamed Russian forces—who he said stormed a Ukranian military outpost near the city of Simferopol—for the killing.
“Today, Russian soldiers began shooting at Ukrainian servicemen,” he said, according to AFP. “This is a war crime.”
His claim could not be immediately verified, but if true, it would mark the first fatality in clashes between the two countries’ militaries during the weeks-long crisis in Crimea.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, delivering a televised address to the country’s parliament on Tuesday, defended his country’s decision to absorb the region after it voted Sunday to split from Ukraine.