Monday, April 7, 2014, 17:58
Russian soldier kills Ukraine navy officer in Crimea
By Agencies

 Russian soldier kills Ukraine navy officer in Crimea
An armed man, believed to be a pro-Russian protester, stands guard inside the offices of the state security service in Luhansk, in eastern Ukraine on April 7, 2014. (Photo / Reuters)

KIEV - A Russian soldier has shot dead a Ukrainian naval officer in eastern Crimea, Ukraine's Defence Ministry said on Monday, in one of few fatalities reported since Russia took control of the Black Sea peninsula.

"The Russian marine killed the unarmed officer. He killed the major with two shots," said Ukrainian navy spokesman Vladislav Seleznyov.

Kiev has blamed Russia for stoking tensions in mostly Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian protesters have seized state security offices in Donetsk and Luhansk, including facilities where weapons are stored.

The defence ministry spokesman said the soldier had been preparing his belongings to leave for the Ukrainian region of Mykolaev on Wednesday when an argument broke out with Russian servicemen.

The officer, Stanislav Karachevsky, who was married and had two children, was killed with an AK-74 on the fifth floor of the dormitory where he lived, he said.

A defence ministry statement said another Ukrainian soldier had been beaten by Russian servicemen and detained, but gave few details.

Russian forces took over Crimea in an almost bloodless operation before Moscow annexed the region last month.

Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk accused Russia on Monday of sowing unrest in his country's eastern provinces as a pretext for dispatching troops across the border.

"The plan is to destabilize the situation, the plan is for foreign troops to cross the border and seize the country's territory, which we will not allow,'' he said, adding that people engaged in the unrest have distinct Russian accents.

Yatsenyuk said Russian troops remain stationed within 30 kilometers of the frontier.

Earlier in the day, the Interior Ministry reported that armed gunmen had occupied a security services building in Luhansk, a city some 25 kilometers west of Russia that has seen frequent protests since the country's Russia-friendly president was ousted in February.

Police in Luhansk said they have been put on alert and have blocked all entrances to the city.