This content is not available in your region

At least one Ukrainian officer 'killed' at Crimea base

At least one Ukrainian officer 'killed' at Crimea base
Text size Aa Aa

At least one Ukrainian servicemen has been shot dead in Crimea after forces suspected of being loyal to Russia stormed a military base.

Unconfirmed reports also claimed a soldier from Crimea’s pro-Russian self-defence force was killed at the facility in Simferopol.

The deaths, the first in the peninsula since pro-Russian forces took control in February, prompted Kyiv to authorise its troops to fire in self-defence.

Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk denounced the assault as a ‘war crime’.

“We understand the motive for this provocation. Today Russian military representatives started shooting at Ukrainian servicemen. This is a war crime,’‘ he said.

Prime Minister Yatsenyuk also claimed the conflict had entered a military phase and called for international talks to prevent a further escalation.

From Simferopol euronews Sergio Cantone said: “The tension in Crimea is mounting and it’s increasingly becoming a dangerous game. Some are already saying there’s been a shift, from the political phase, to something else, certainly more muscular in nature anyway.”