Ukraine

Killing of Ukrainian Serviceman Begins 'Military Stage' of Conflict

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Sebastian Meyer

Russian President Vladimir Putin and the parliament of Crimea signed a treaty today declaring the region a territory of the Russian Federation. Despite the annexation nominally ending Crimea's identity crisis, the situation on the ground hit a new low: a Ukrainian serviceman under fire from "armed masked men" and snipers was killed by a bullet to the neck.

The New York Times reported earlier that "within hours of that declaration, a group of soldiers opened fire while storming a modest Ukrainian military installation in Kubanskoye, near Simferopol… the base appeared to be under control of the soldiers, who wore no insignia." The Associated Press hints at who might be responsible, though, since "a truck bearing a Russian flag was used in the operation."

When the gunfire ended, "one serviceman at the base had died of his wounds. A second man, a captain, was injured," according to Reuters.

Christopher Miller of the Kyiv Post clarified that the killed man was not even soldier, but a "a cartographer who worked at photogrammetric information center."

Ukraine's interim prime minister stated that the killing, for which he blames Russian soldiers, marks a "shifting from a political to a military stage" in the Crimean crisis, and that the attack constitutes a "war crime."

Russia announced yesterday that the Ukrainian military has until Friday to vacate Crimea.

Although Putin insists he has no interest in seizing other regions of Ukraine, Russian troops are building up along the border and conducting military exercises. Adding to the alarm, The Interpreter magazine reports that "Belarus, a long-time Russian ally, was supposed to receive a shipment of 15 Russian Su-27SM3 aircraft. Now, that number has risen to 24," which "could be seen as a direct response to this crisis" in Ukraine.

As Reason's Matthew Feeney highlighted, Vice President Joe Biden today suggested that the U.S. may soon be conducting military exercises of its own in the Baltic Sea.  

Read more Reason coverage of Ukraine and Russia here

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  1. As Reason’s Matthew Feeney highlighted, Vice President Joe Biden today suggested that the U.S. may soon be conducting military exercises of its own in the Baltic Sea.

    If the US sends Joe Biden to Crimea, Canada promises to send Justin Beiber.

  2. You don’t even give the name of the man that was killed?

  3. McCain must have a raging war boner right now.

    1. McCain wakes up with a warboner every day. They had to raise his desk four inches just so he could sit at it.

    2. Petrified wood then?

      1. Nah, the good warboners are constructed from the finest in charred Vietnamese babies.

  4. John McCain and Bill Kristol will be in their bunks.

  5. Is it working?

    1. Hello Sevo, yes I can read you.

      1. Well, sometimes…

  6. As Reason’s Matthew Feeney highlighted, Vice President Joe Biden today suggested that the U.S. may soon be conducting military exercises of its own in the Baltic Sea.

    Too little, too late for the current conflict, but joint training (esp with the Polish military) is definitely one among a slew of things we can do to curb Russian revanchism without over-committing.

    1. I’m not a big fan of this strategy, but another one is to send “observers” into western Ukraine, particularly into key strategic areas like military bases. Especially if they’re wearing NATO or, even better, UN hats. The EU doesn’t really give two shits about Vlad right now but a couple of blue helmets downed by Russian bullets and that changes quick.

  7. Ya know, I work hard posting comments and contributing to the number of page hits, attracting advertisers (whom I’ve blocked, btw) so that Reason can remain solvent…and this is the way I’m treated? This is the thanks I get?

    Ass-raped by furry rodents for over 24 hours with no end in sight?

    I want my donation back!

    1. I donated $100,000 under the pseudonym Koch, and I want that back!

      Did they buy it?

    2. Is everyone ok otherwise?

      They got me good, and I will require physical and psychotherapy, but the squirrels did not get my testicles.

    3. Ass-raped by furry rodents for over 24 hours with no end in sight?

      Well at least you have some company.

  8. Testes testes testes

  9. What a great opportunity to impliment Fast & Furious II.

  10. Funny how the Russian news reported that the first casualty was a “Crimean self-defence force” fighter, i.e. a Russian serviceman…

  11. There is an overall restlessness in the world today. Perhaps a result of the lingering recession? I don’t know. But it’s very disturbing. No good can come from this.

    When I think about the upcoming 2014 elections , I’m wondering if the people will elect enough non-liberals (I don’t care what flavor, at this point) to the Senate to neutralize Harry Reid. That might help, allowing some common sense bills to at least be brought to a vote.

    Looking forward to 2016, I’m less optimistic. I believe if Hillary runs, she’s got it. The media will make sure of that. No matter who non-liberals put up to oppose her.

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