Source: The World
Russia opened fire on the Ukrainian fleet, injuring six crew whose lives are not in danger
Ukraine blames Moscow for “aggression” and Moscow accuses the Ukrainians of “provocation”
The Ukrainian parliament will vote on Monday the implementation of the state of emergency
Ukraine and Russia return to lean into war, and again the pulse begins in Crimea. The Ukrainian parliament will vote on Monday to implement the state of emergency after Russian coastguard vessels yesterday seized three ships of the Ukrainian Navy.
The Russians came to charge one of the ships and also fired, wounding six crew of the flotilla, which was heading to the Kerch Strait. There passes the Russian bridge that separates the annexed Crimean peninsula from mainland Russia. The pass belonged to both countries before, but since the annexation of that Ukrainian peninsula in 2014, Russia controls the two sides of the strait and considers the Black Sea and Azov Sea waters that bathe the Crimean coasts as its own.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko yesterday called an emergency meeting of his Security and Defense Council and asked Parliament to declare a state of emergency for 60 days. Although it does not propose a military offensive, it has requested protection from its international allies. NATO requested “containment” last night from Moscow and Kiev but “fully supports” the sovereignty of Ukraine and its territorial integrity, including its right to navigate its territorial waters.
Tonight there have been protests in Kiev in front of the Russian embassy. Ukraine blames Moscow for “aggression” and Moscow accuses the Ukrainians of “provocation”.
While the politicians raise the tone, both armies prepare. “The General Staff ordered to put the military units on high alert, following the decision of the National Security and Defense Council to impose martial law,” the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine announced. Russia has also reinforced the surveillance of its bridge, with fighters flying over the area at low altitude. “We are talking about the danger of an escalation not only in the Black and Azov seas, but also on land, we see the intense preparations of the Russian military units that are near our northern, eastern and southern borders,” the Council secretary said last night. of National Security and Defense, Alexander Turchinov. The naval incident between Russia and Ukraine “is a Ukrainian provocation, with the right moment, place and manner,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigori Karasin replied Monday morning.
As in the fighting in Donbas, Moscow and Kiev give different explanations about the incident, although the FSB (the Russian security service, heir of the KGB) has already admitted having opened fire on Ukrainian ships to force them to stop. He added that his coastguards took care of the wounded Ukrainian crew and that “his life is not in danger”. Russia today requested the convening of an extraordinary meeting of the UN Security Council in the face of escalating tension in the Sea of Azov. He maintains that the Ukrainian ships were performing a dangerous maneuver and ignored the order to stop.
“They shot to kill”
Moscow has initiated a criminal case for the violation of Russia’s state border. Apparently, the collision occurred in neutral waters after leaving the zone of 12 kilometers of Russian territorial waters. Russia opened fire after accusing Ukrainian Navy vessels of violating its territorial waters while trying to circumnavigate the Crimean peninsula. The captured vessels are the Berdyansk and Nikopol gunboats, and the Yani Kapu tugboat, which had departed from the port of Odessa, on the Black Sea, to Mariupol, on the Azov. There are a total of 23 sailors aboard the three ships, according to the Ukrainian media.
The situation has degraded to the point that, as a result of this incident yesterday, Russia physically closed the passage through that strait to the Ukrainian ships by crossing a freighter and placing warships, locking up Ukraine in the Sea of Azov, where it has its important Mariupol port. The passage has been reopened this morning. The decision to block traffic has been an unprecedented measure since the breakup of the Soviet Union, reminiscent of the blockade suffered by the Ukrainian warship Slavutich and the corvette Ternopol, which were locked up by Russian ships in Sevastopol in March 2014 during the first measures of the Russian occupation of Crimea.
The attack was perpetrated by a coastguard vessel of the Russian Federal Security Service. In images distributed on Twitter by the Ukrainian government it is seen how one of the Russian coastguard boats attacked the tug, causing damage to the engine, dents in the hull and railing and the loss of at least one life raft. “The boat lost control, there are wounded, they shot to kill”, denounced the Ukrainian Navy in its