A video showing an elderly woman being pushed over by an allegedly pro-Russian activist in Crimea has gone viral on YouTube, with more than 580,000 views as of Wednesday.
The clip, uploaded to YouTube on March 14, begins with the woman confronting a group of men and women who supposedly support Crimea's secession from Ukraine. A man in a military uniform watches the events unfold without intervening.
"We do not need to be defended against anybody. I am not scared. You understand it — fear is the psychology of the slave," the elderly woman tells the group.
"What do you want? I do not understand," a man located out of the frame replies.
The confrontation continues with the woman accusing the group of wanting blood to be spilled on Ukrainian soil, adding "Crimea has been Ukrainian and it will be Ukrainian."
"You are a provocateur babushka. Go away," says a man dressed in black. He then pushes the elderly lady, who falls forward to the floor and remains on the ground until she is helped to her feet.
The video, which could not be independently verified, has received a mostly negative reaction from social-network users.
"What a big man.. pushing an elderly lady to the ground,.. typical bully," said one user on Facebook.
"Russian soldiers are there to protect locals, at least thats what they say. But this old woman is a local, and she clearly needed someone to defend her," said another user, in a YouTube comment posted beneath the video.
On Sunday, Crimea voted overwhelmingly in favor of secession from Ukraine in a referendum organized by the region's new pro-Russian authorities.
President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday signed a treaty adding the breakaway region to Russia, despite strong objections from the interim government in Kiev and the West.