Ukraine Authorizes Troops to Use Weapons

PM: Conflict Is Shifting to a Military Stage

Ukraine’s interim government has announced that they have given their military forces in Crimea authorization to use weapons to “defend and protect” one another and their bases.

The authorization came in the wake of one of their Crimea bases being attacked by unidentified fighters, with one soldier killed. Ukrainian officials blamed the Russian military, terming it a “war crime.”

Ukraine and Russia have a “truce” over the bases until Friday, though with Russia’s annexation of the Crimea likely to be finalized before that it is clear that they will want Ukraine’s troops out as soon as possible, and some bases were already taken by defectors from Ukraine’s military to Crimea’s own armed forces.

Ukraine interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk says the shift signals “the conflict is shifting from a political to a military stage,” and other officials have played up the mobilization of Ukraine’s military in preparation of a “war.”

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.