SIMFEROPOL, March 18 (RIA Novosti) – One pro-Russian militiaman was killed and two other wounded on Tuesday in a sniper attack on the streets of the Crimean capital, Simferopol, local media reported.
A unit of pro-Russian self-defense forces came under sniper fire while searching for a group of unidentified gunmen on a tip from local residents, the Kryminform news agency said citing a Crimean police source.
“As a result, one member of self-defense forces was killed and two were wounded,” the source said, adding that the incident could have been a premeditated provocation.
Meanwhile, the foreign media circulated reports by the Ukrainian military earlier on Tuesday that a Ukrainian soldier was killed and another wounded during an attack on a Ukrainian military base near Simferopol.
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry, however, failed to identify the forces behind the alleged attack.
Following the reports, Reuters cited Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk as saying that the Ukrainian conflict had moved “from a political one to a military one.”
Shortly after, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry authorized the use of firearms by its servicemen deployed at Crimean bases.
The reports of bloodshed from conflicting sides in Crimea come shortly after the signing of a treaty on Tuesday in Moscow reunifying the Ukrainian breakaway region with Russia after 60 years as part of Ukraine.
Updates with details