On Sunday, Russia seized three Ukrainian ships in the Kerch Strait that gives access to the Sea of Azov. Russia said it used fired on Ukrainian ships in order to stop the Ukrainian military that illegally entered its waters.
Ukrainian Navy said that Russian border guard vessel rammed the tugboat that damaged the engine and outer shell of the tug. It said that two Ukrainian soldiers were also injured.
Russia’s FSB security service said, “Having breached this morning the Russian border, the three Ukrainian ships — the Berdyansk, the Nikopol and the Yani Kapu — tried again on November 25 at 19:00 (Moscow time) to conduct illegal actions in Russian territorial waters”.
After the incident, deputy speaker of the Russian parliament, Pyotr Tolstoy wrote on Facebook, “the Ukrainian puppet authorities… are risking unleashing a large military conflict”. He said, “One thing is clear: Russia won’t allow military provocations in its territorial waters”.
Protests in Kiev after Russia seizes Ukraine ships off Crimea https://t.co/n8FzQsQ8Jm
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) November 26, 2018
The Crimean leader Sergei Aksyonov alleged that “western masters of the Kiev regime are behind this act of provocation”.
Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko accused Russia of deliberately doing this and urged the parliament to vote for imposing the martial law in the country to protect the sovergnity of Ukrainian territory.
He said, “I want to emphasize separately that we have all irrefutable evidence that this aggression, this attack on the Ukrainian Navy’s warships was not a mistake, not an accident, but a deliberate action”.
Poroshenko said, “Martial law doesn’t mean declaration of war. Ukraine doesn’t plan to start war against anyone; we are just reacting in favor of defending our land and territory, as well as the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine”.
The European Union urged all sides to practice restraint to de-escalate the situation. The EU said in a statement, “We expect Russia to restore freedom of passage at the Kerch strait and urge all to act with utmost restraint to de-escalate the situation immediately”.