Ukraine's armed forces in Crimea on alert after officer shot dead

Defense ministry confirms identities of soldiers killed, captured in Simferopol.

Defense ministry confirms identities of soldiers killed, captured in Simferopol.

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine - Ukraine's Defense Ministry confirmed in a statement posted on its official website that Warrant Officer S.V. Kakurin was shot and killed by unidentified gunmen in Russian military uniforms Tuesday night.

According to the ministry, Kakurin was fatally shot through the heart at the Ukrainian military's photogrammetric information center for the13th Main Directorate of Operational Support in Simferopol after armed gunmen in unmarked vehicles attempted to storm the base. The ministry stated that Captain V. Fedun and another unidentified serviceman were wounded during the incident. Unit Commander, Colonel Andrey Andryushin, was also listed as having been detained. 

The incident occurred only hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin and the leaders of the Crimean parliament signed a formal agreement on the region's official annexation into the Russian Federation.

Ukraine's interim prime minister, Arsney Yatsenyuk, said in an emergency cabinet meeting that the incident had moved the crisis into a 'military phase.'

In response to the incident Ukrainian armed forces units in Crimea have been authorized to fire in self-defense.

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