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Full Version: Russia Opens Fire On, Captures 3 Ukrainian Naval Vessels For Border Violation / Ukraine Declares Martial Law
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Russia Captures Ukrainian Naval Vessels After Border Violation / Ukraine Claims Russia Opened Fire

Russian Vessel Blocks Kerch Strait After Ukrainian Navy Ships Violate Border

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© Ruptly

Tensions are running high around the Kerch Strait, separating Crimea from mainland Russia after Ukrainian vessels violated the Russian border. The passage was blocked by a cargo ship and fighter jets were scrambled.

The Russian authorities have taken some drastic measures in an attempt to prevent any provocations from the Ukrainian Navy ships that have approached the Kerch Strait while sailing through the Russian territorial waters without authorization.

Russia has literally stopped all navigation through the waterway using a cargo ship. Videos from the scene released by the Russian media show a large bulk freighter accompanied by two Russian military boats standing under the arch of the Crimea Bridge and blocking the only passage through the strait.

“The [Kerch] strait is closed for security reasons,” the Director-General of the Crimean sea ports, Aleksey Volkov, told TASS, confirming earlier media reports.

Russian Air Force Su-25 strike fighters have also been scrambled to provide additional security for the strait as the situation remains tense. The move came as five Ukrainian Navy ships are approaching the strait from two different sides.

Initially, two Ukrainian artillery boats and a tugboat approached the strait from the Black Sea while “undertaking dangerous maneuvers” and defying the lawful orders of the Russian border guards. Later, they were joined by two more military vessels that departed from a Ukrainian Azov Sea port of Berdyansk sailing to the strait from the other side.

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Russia’s federal security agency FSB, which is responsible for maintaining the country’s borders, denounced the actions of the Ukrainian ships as a provocation, adding that they could create a “conflict situation” in the region. According to the Russian media reports, the Ukrainian vessels are still sailing towards the strait, ignoring the warnings of the Russian border guards.
Ukrainian Navy Claims Russia Opened Fire on Its Naval Ships in Kerch Strait

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Earlier in the day, the press service of the FSB's Crimean border department said that three Ukrainian Navy ships crossed into temporarily off-limits Russian territorial waters, moving from the Black Sea to the Kerch Strait.

According to the Ukrainian Navy, one of its vessels has lost power as the Russian ships allegedly attacked the Ukrainian armored artillery vessel.

Russian naval ships "opened fire on a group of ships of Ukraine's navy," Ukrainian naval officials said in a statement, adding that one person had been injured on a damaged ship, AFP reported.

The Ukrainian Navy said  Sunday that the Ukrainian side had contacted the Border Service of the Russian Federal Security Service to notify the Russian side that Ukrainian naval vessels would be passing through the Kerch Strait on their way from the port city of Odessa on the Black Sea coast to Mariupol in the Sea of Azov.

The Ukrainian side also claimed that the three vessels — two small armored artillery boats and a tugboat — were not violating any international law by traveling from Odessa to Mariupol.
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what happens now?

A report from a little earlier...

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