A Ukrainian military officer was killed on March 18th during assault on the 13th photogrammetric center in Simferopol by Russian troops that stormed the Crimea region in an attempt to formally annex the peninsula, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence said.
The officer was killed by a direct hit to the heart, according to a statement of the Ukrainian Defence Ministry, by attackers, who were wearing military uniforms of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, without insignia, armed with automatic weapons and sniper rifles.
Two more Ukrainian soldiers are said to have been injured in the attack as well.
As a result, in order to protect and preserve the life of Ukrainian soldiers, the Acting Supreme Commander Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Acting Minister of Defence of Ukraine, decided to allow use of weaponry to Ukraine military units of the Armed Forces stationed in Crimea.
During a meeting with Ukrainian Navy Commander and commanders of military units deployed in Crimea, Ukraine’s new interim president Olexander Turchynov said that Russia’s attempts to annex Ukrainian territory will not be accepted by Ukraine and the whole civilized world.
Olexander Turchynov remarked this process would not have any legal effects but it would be dangerous for the whole Europe “as the first attempt in post-war period to annex the independent state.”
“All the servicemen from Crimea will have the status of combat operations participants,” he said. “We well understand the complexity of the current situation and realize there is no simple solution. But everything we have to do for each family, each community, and each serviceman – we’ll do in spite of difficulties. Your problems are more serious”, Arseniy Yatsenyuk said. “As a citizen of our country I would like to thank you. You took the oath to Ukraine and Ukraine took the oath to each of you.”
According to him, the Government will take decision concerning further actions in cooperation with the Ukrainian Army and the Ukrainian Navy.
Naval Today Staff, March 19, 2014; Image: Ukrainian MoD