Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Will Finland's eurosceptic party enter government?

Read more

FOCUS

The health risk behind Argentina's soya paradise

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Top Burundian judge flees country after government pressure

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'60% of British citizens want voting reform'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Swedish FM: ‘Diplomacy today is about courage and patience’

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Women journalists to male politicians: Hands off!

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

France's billion-euro private beach industry

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

UN denies claims it tried to cover up sex abuse in Central African Republic

Read more

DEBATE

François of Arabia: Hollande's Budding Friendship with the Gulf (part 2)

Read more

Europe

Ukrainian soldier killed as Crimea crisis enters ‘military stage’

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-03-18

Ukraine’s Western-backed leader on Tuesday warned that the country’s crisis had entered a “military stage” and authorised his troops to use their arms after a Ukrainian soldier was killed in an attack on a Crimean base.

The assault, staged by masked gunmen wearing Russian military uniforms, came just hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty that makes Crimea a Russian territory. This followed an overwhelming number of voters in a referendum in the region on Sunday choosing to switch to Kremlin rule.

A second soldier was also wounded in the attack, which occurred on a military base in Crimea's main city of Simferopol.

According to the Ukrainian defence ministry, the base had been stormed by men "dressed in the military uniforms of servicemen of the armed forces of the Russian Federation".

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk warned that the conflict with Russia was now "shifting from a political to a military stage": "Russian soldiers have started shooting at Ukrainian military servicemen, and that is a war crime."

Regional defence ministry spokesman Vladislav Seleznyov said pro-Russian forces had by late Tuesday taken complete control of the base.

"All the servicemen inside were lined up in a row and their documents seized," he said. "They were all informed that they were under arrest."

Shortly afterward, the Ukrainian defence ministry issued an order saying, “In connection with the death of a Ukrainian serviceman...Ukrainian troops in Crimea have been allowed to use weapons to defend and protect the lives of Ukrainian servicemen.”

Up until now, forces deployed in Crimea – taken over three weeks ago by Russian forces – had been told to avoid using arms against attack.

Ukraine's interim president, Oleksandr Turchinov, said the responsibility for "the blood of Ukrainian soldiers (was on) the leadership of the Russian Federation and specifically President Putin".

Seleznyov could not immediately say how many Ukrainian soldiers had been arrested or how many pro-Russians were involved in the attack.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, REUTERS)
 

Date created : 2014-03-18

  • DIPLOMACY

    US to consider war games in Baltic, warns Biden

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    France may cancel Russian warship order over Crimea

    Read more

  • RUSSIA

    Crimea an ‘inseparable’ part of Russia, Putin tells parliament

    Read more

COMMENT(S)