Putin signs Crimea treaty as Ukraine serviceman dies in attack

by
March 19, 2014

MOSCOW/KIEV | Defying Ukrainian protests and Western sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty in Moscow on Tuesday making Crimea part of Russia again but said he did not plan to seize any other regions of Ukraine.

On the peninsula, a Ukrainian serviceman was killed when a base still held by Kiev came under attack in the main town of Simferopol, the first death in Crimea from a military clash since Russia seized control three weeks ago.

Kiev said the attackers had been wearing Russian military uniforms, and it responded by authorizing its soldiers in Crimea to use weapons to protect their lives, reversing previous orders that they should avoid using arms against attack.

In a fiercely patriotic address to a joint session of parliament in the Kremlin, punctuated by standing ovations, cheers and tears, Putin said Crimea’s disputed referendum vote on Sunday, held under Russian military occupation, had shown the overwhelming will of the people to be reunited with Russia.

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