|Photo by Farooque Chowdhury|
Tensions are rising yet again in Crimea as the first Ukrainian military death has taken place on the Peninsula since the crisis began.
As the BBC reports:
An eyewitness told the BBC that armed men arrived in two unmarked vehicles, storming the base in Simferopol and firing automatic weapons.
The Ukrainian government said a junior officer who was on duty in a park inside the base had been killed and another officer injured. A third serviceman had leg and head injuries after being beaten with iron bars, it said.
The government said the commander of the unit was captured by men wearing Russian uniforms.
Defence ministry spokesman Vladislav Seleznyov told Reuters the attack was by "unknown forces, fully equipped and their faces covered".
The Ukrainians had had their IDs, weapons and money confiscated, he said.A slightly different description of the assailants comes from the Independent, which describes them as being “dressed in Russian camouflage kits and balaclavas.” This description, of course, is not exactly the same as Russian uniforms.
In addition, The Independent also acknowledges that “there were indications that it was the separatist Crimean government’s recently created 'Self Defence Forces' who had actually carried out the fatal attack.”
The manner in which the assailants were dressed as well as the fact that the vehicle they arrived in was unmarked, seems to suggest a force other than Russian soldiers to blame for the incident. Russian military troops and their vehicles tend to be clearly marked as is the case with most military forces.
Evidence does suggest the possibility that these individuals could have been affiliated with local pro-Russian Self-Defense Forces. However, evidence also points to the distinct possibility that the confrontation was not initially intended to be a violent one from either side.
This is because there is information suggesting that the violence was not initiated by Russian forces, self-defense militias, or Ukrainian troops at all. Reports from both the Independent and BBC suggest that the culprits who both initiated the violence and were responsible for the death of one Ukrainian soldier and one pro-Russian militia member were actually unidentified snipers who fired from residential buildings.
Local officials have referred to these shooters as “fascist snipers” suggesting that Crimean authorities suspect them of having loyalty to the Western-backed regime in Kiev. These snipers allegedly fired at both Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian self-defense forces, creating casualties on both sides and triggering a string of violent events that led to the assault of the Ukrainian soldiers and the death of these two men.
Snipers firing indiscriminately into a crowd of demonstrators and police or otherwise highly charged situation for the purposes of creating violent confrontations and initiating destabilizations have been a factor in several of the latest Western-directed color revolutions and coup campaigns. For instance, Syria, Egypt, Iran, Venezuela, and now Ukraine have all experienced this phenomenon.
Regardless, escalation of the crisis has certainly been achieved as Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk recently stated at an emergency meeting that "The conflict is shifting from a political to a military stage. Russian soldiers have started shooting at Ukrainian military servicemen and that is a war crime."
It is also important to remember the recent alleged leaks of emails coming from the U.S. Army Attaché Assistant in Kiev, Jason Gresh, which suggest that there are plans to conduct a number of attacks on Ukrainian military bases in order to destabilize the situation on the ground inside the country. Although the emails have not been confirmed as true, one must clearly look at the situation devolving in Ukraine as a prime candidate for such a false flag attack to take place.
Developments will continue to be monitored.
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