How Russia captured three Ukrainian ships in the Black Sea

Hannah Rogers
November 27, 2018

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko ordered 30 days of martial law in response to the incident.

This morning, I had a phone call with President Poroshenko who requested the NATO - Ukraine Commission meeting.

"We condemn Russia's act of aggression in seizing three Ukrainian vessels and their crew", a Downing Street spokesman said.

Andriy Shevchenko, Ukraine's ambassador to Canada, said Monday the Russians had prepared for the escalation for months and now feel comfortable blockading the Kerch Strait in defiance of worldwide condemnation.

Speaking at an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Monday, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley called Russia's reported actions an "outrageous violation of sovereign Ukrainian territory", saying they marked "yet another reckless Russian escalation".

US Ambassador Ms Haley said she has also spoken with President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about Russia's "outlaw" actions.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says that she is in contact with the Ukrainian government after Russian coast guard ships fired on Ukrainian navy vessels over the weekend.

Interfax news agency quoted Russia's human-rights commissioner, Tatyana Moskalkova, as saying November 26 that 24 Ukrainian sailors were being detained. Between three and six Ukrainians were injured.

But he rowed back from an earlier proposal to impose martial law for two months after several lawmakers voiced concern and he said his decree did not foresee any restrictions on the rights and freedoms of citizens or the introduction of censorship.

NASA scientists celebrate InSight landing with handshake worthy of the National Basketball Association
EST (0130 November 27 GMT), about five-and-a-half hours after InSight landed on Mars . "What a relief", Manning said. During its two year mission on Mars, InSight will use instruments to study the planet's interior.

All of this flows from the invasion of Ukraine by Russia in 2014 that led to Russia's illegal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula, which comprises much of the southwestern edge of the Sea of Azov, and the ongoing occupation of southeastern Ukraine by rebel forces supported by Russian troops and special forces.

The city, with a mixed Ukrainian-Russian population, is located on the north coast of the Sea of Azov close to the border with Russia.

"What we witnessed this weekend is yet another reckless Russian escalation" of what began with Russia's seizure of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and its ongoing support for separatists in eastern Ukraine, said Haley, who will step down as United Nations ambassador at the end of the year. Moscow has closed off the Kerch Strait.

Russia's Foreign Ministry blamed Ukraine for the Strait of Kerch outbreak calling it a "planned provocation" by Kiev.

The United States, a key ally of Ukraine, is opposed to Russia's takeover of Crimea and is looking to reduce Ukraine's dependency on Russian gas pipelines. But she added that the administration expects Europe "to lead this effort" through a peace process known as the Normandy format, with France, Germany, Ukraine, and Russian Federation.

Russia's Gazprom and Ukraine's Naftogaz are also locked in a bitter dispute over payments for gas supply, with a court battle still going on.

The governments of several European nations, including the United Kingdom and Germany, also condemned the seizure of the ships and demanded that Russian Federation free the vessels and guarantee safe passage through the strait.

On Sunday, Russia dispatched warplanes to patrol the area after the Ukrainian navy tried to send the ships through the Kerch Strait, a waterway with strategic significance for both countries that passes under a newly built Russian bridge. Analysts said Moscow was now trying to spark a conflict in order to show Ukraine's leadership that it could act with impunity. "At the time of the mission, we had small arms and large-calibre machine guns with ammunition on board", Lesovoy says in the video without specifying the name of the ship he was on.

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