This one photo shows how remarkably intertwined Russia and Crimea actually is.
In the center is a Ukrainian soldier, standing between the coffins of fallen soldier Sergey Kokurin, 35, right, and Russian Cossack militiaman Ruslan Kazakov, 34, left, during a joint funeral in Simferopol.
Kokurin and Kazakov, the only known victims of the otherwise bloodless Russian takeover of Crimea, died in a violent incident at the Ukrainian military installation in Simferopol earlier this week.
Instead of distance between two seemingly separate factions, the funeral actually brought both sides together, as others captured photos of the bodies being walked down the street by supporters from both sides.
Mourners lined up alongside their own and silently paid their respects without obvious resentment to either opposing party, The Telegraph reports.
The ceremony was held in Simferopol’s House of Officers in an attempt by local authorities to ease tensions from what is thus far, the darkest incident of the Crimean annexation.
Tensions still remain however. On the same day of the joint funeral taking place roughly 33 miles away, about 200 pro-Russian protesters stormed a Ukrainian air force base in western Crimea, taking down the flag of Ukraine and forcing soldiers to leave, according to AFP.
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