The shooting in the Crimean city of Simferopol bears a strong resemblance to the actions of snipers in central Kiev, as February violent clashes, local prosecution said. Russia considers the shooting that left two killed and two injured a “provocation.”
Crimean prosecutor, Natalya Poklonskaya
“Experts familiar with the crime scene believe the crimes perpetrated today bear a strong resemblance to the actions of snipers on the Maidan on February 18-21,” she summed up.
If this turns out to be the case, she said, it is possible that the attack was possibly aimed at “provoking clashes between the servicemen of Ukraine and Crimea.”
Despite very little details immediately available, shortly after news of the shooting broke, Western media was fast to point a finger at Russia, blaming the attack on “pro-Russian forces.” This view was shared in Kiev, which in an immediate reaction authorized Ukrainian troops stationed in Crimea to use firearms to “defend their lives."
However, in Russia the shooting is widely seen as a provocation after Crimea and Sevastopol were accepted into the Russian Federation and the treaty was signed.
"What happened in Simferopol yesterday was beyond any doubt a provocation and its style suggests that the sniper there acted in the same manner as the ones on Maidan," Russian Black Sea Fleet Commander Aleksandr Vitko. "Two people died as a result," he added. "Nonetheless, the hotheads in the incumbent Ukrainian leadership said something about permission to shoot. I'd like to warn everyone in this connection and especially the men and officers of the Ukrainian Naval Forces, God forbid you to make a single shot, even from a slingshot. Matches are not toys, and I'd like to ask everyone to understand it in the very literal sense."