Russian TV shows detained Ukrainian sailors

Ann Santiago
November 28, 2018

Russian Federation also sent military aircraft to the scene. The locations chosen were ones that Poroshenko identified as potentially in the front line of any Russian attack. He did not elaborate. The groups demand that the government declare martial law. "It is introduced with the sole goal of boosting Ukraine's defense in the light of a growing aggression from Russian Federation". They also include a plethora of vaguely worded steps such as the "strengthening" of anti-terrorism measures and "information security".

But Poroshenko also pledged to respect the rights of Ukrainian citizens.

'Russian special forces have seized some ships, ' Ukrainian naval officials said in a statement.

The risk is that the conflict in eastern Ukraine could intensify.

Ukrainian lawmakers are set to vote later on Monday whether to implement martial law, which could give ammunition to Poroshenko's political opponents.

Poroshenko declared 30 days of martial law; he originally proposed 60 days.

On Tuesday, a court in Simferopol, the main city in Russian-annexed Crimea, ordered 12 of the sailors to be held in pre-trial detention for two months.

It unilaterally annexed the peninsula after a referendum in March 2014, but failed to garner worldwide support and recognition for the move while prompting the USA and the impose sanctions.

The Kerch Strait - a shallow, narrow stretch of water just two to three miles wide at one point - connects the Azov Sea with the Black Sea and runs between the Crimean Peninsula and Russian Federation.

"The Security Service of Ukraine takes all necessary measures within its area of responsibility to release Ukrainian captives and return them to their families".

Hundreds of protesters from the National Corps party waved flares in the snowy streets of Kiev outside parliament and accused the president of using martial law to his own ends.

But Ukraine's foreign minister, Pavlo Klimkin, said "Ukraine will seek to settle the row in a peaceful manner", even though its armed forces have been put on alert.

A Russian ship is reported to have opened fire on a Ukrainian vessel, while another was caught on video ramming a Ukrainian tug boat off the Crimean coast Sunday.

According to Ukraine, Russian military boats fired at a pair of Ukrainian navy vessels and a tugboat on November 25.

However, after its seizure of Crimea, Russia built a almost 12-mile bridge spanning the strait.

Russia has released statements by three captured Ukrainian sailors after its ships fired on and seized three Ukrainian boats off the coast of Russian-annexed Crimea.

Andriy Drach said on camera he was on the Nikopol gunboat with an order to sail from Odessa to Mariupol. The FSB said only three had suffered non-life threatening injuries and were given medical treatment.

The news revived memories of Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula previously controlled by Ukraine, and raised further concerns over Russia's territorial ambitions. More than 10,000 people have died in the fighting.

The Sea of Azov has been a flash point in the conflict between the two countries. She also warned that any further escalation by the Kremlin will "further sour Russia's relations with the US and many other countries".

"It doesn't matter if we are talking about the detention of Russian ships or ships of foreign states", he said.

Kiev has accused Moscow of blocking access for Ukrainian ships through the strait, the only way in and out of the Sea of Azov to the Black Sea.

What happened to the naval vessels?

The bridge's relatively low height limits the kinds of ships that are able to enter the Azov Sea - putting Ukraine's ports there at a new disadvantage, as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty detailed in August.

He accused Ukraine of having "provoked" the incident "in the hope that the U.S. and Europe, as always, recklessly, will take [its] side".

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