KIEV, Ukraine — Two people are reported to have been killed in an exchange
of gunfire at a Ukrainian military facility in the capital of separatist Crimea.
Details of the incident are sketchy, but the Interfax news agency quotes police
as saying one of those killed was a Ukrainian serviceman and the other was a
member of a local self-defense brigade.
A spokesman for the Ukrainian armed forces in Crimea says the facility was
stormed by unknown armed men and that one serviceman was killed and another
wounded. A local news agency recently formed by pro-Russian Crimean authorities
gives a different account, saying snipers on the base fired at self-defense
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk
blames Russia for the incident and accuses Moscow of turning the political
dispute over Crimea into a military conflict.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an agreement to annex Crimea today,
after a weekend referendum in the region endorsed the move. Crimea has a
majority ethnic Russian population and is home to the Russian Black Sea fleet
under a lease with Ukraine.