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Ukraine Ad Hoc Media Update (44) – Kerch Strait Attack / Martial Law


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

The pictures showing damage to the Ukrainian vessels is damning. These show a deliberate attempt to kill Ukraine sailors by Russian boats and SU-30 aircraft.

This is a fairly massive compilation. To understand this complex and rapidly developing situation, one should start by reviewing all the reports below.

Russia is already talking about a show trial of the captured Ukrainian sailors.  I’ll make a wager the sailors will not have a Ukrainian lawyer representing them.

Please do not forget at least three Ukrainian sailors were evacuated to Moscow for ‘medical treatment’. They will surely be used as pawns. 

Already the captured Ukrainian are allegedly making confessions. I’d be interested to see their pictures and to hear their story after their release.

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Russia is conducting a replay of the style of “Krymnash” propaganda campaign seen in 2014, including shifting blame on the US, and vilifying Ukraine. The KP accurately labels it as  “anti-Ukrainian hysteria”. Captured Ukrainian sailors are doing “confessions” for Russian TV cameras. A Stalin-era style show trial of the Ukrainian Navy POWs is reported being prepared in Simferopol. Zvezda, the MoD propaganda channel, is also alleging that Ukraine is preparing the use of CW in Donbass.

The WP correctly tags the relationship between Putin’s poor poll standing and his attacks on Ukraine – when the polls are low, a confrontation with the despised Ukrops works every time. Killing two birds with one stone – Arkhipov points out that the timing is good for Russia due to discord in the West over defense policy, alliances and funding. Kasparov.ru summarises the critical reactions of Russian bloggers, mostly aghast at the Russian attack. Interesting commentaries by Zisels and Milovanov. Four backgrounders on the risks of escalation.

Amb Haley aptly eviscerates the Russian delegation in the UNSC. Sen. Menendez calls for the US to supply “lethal maritime equipment and weapons” to Ukraine, a sound proposal with persistent strategic impact. A deluge of public criticism of Russia by leaders across the West. Multiple proposals for show-of-force deployments or increased sanctions.

In Ukraine, the Parliament votes to impose limited martial law in Oblasts bordering Russia, the Black and Azov Seas, and Transnistria, for a period of 30 days, to ensure that any Russian attack can be repelled. FM Klimkin and Amb Yelchenko comment on the risk of a Russian invasion to annex the coastal strip between the Azov Sea out to Moldova. Skibitsky at MoD in Kyiv briefs on Russia’s recent military buildup along Ukraine’s borders, including the deployment of 500 combat aircraft and 340 helos at MOBs and FOBs proximate to Ukraine – Orbat charts below.

Chief of the AFU General Staff Gen. Muzhenko told the Parliament that the Russians conducted an air strike on the Ukrainian gunboats to disable them: “Today it became known that Russian aviation was also used during the attack on the Ukrainian ships. A Su-30 fighter jet launched two missiles”, SBU Chairman Hrytsak later cited as claiming these were FFARs. Stills on Twitter from Russian TV and other sources taken at the Kerch pier show at least two hits on the bridge superstructure of the Berdyansk armored gunboat consistent with an S-8 FFAR or Kh-25 / AS-10 ASM (below). Two Ukrainian SBU counter-intel officers were onboard and one sustained heavy injuries from the missile attack. The AV-MF operates at least one SQN of new Su-30SM FLANKER H fighters in Crimea.

The video released by the Russians includes a lot of expletives and complaints that the Ukrainian gunboats were maneuvering in an agile manner and the Russian patrol vessels were unable to close with them. So they called in an AV-MF strike which disabled the boats, allowing them to be boarded. There is no evidence of any return fire by the Ukrainians, the Project 58150 Gyurza M (Viper) armored gunboats are equipped with two Katran M remote control turrets, each with a 30mm gun, 7.62mm gun, 30mm grenade launcher and a dual tube Baryer ATGW launcher. In a close quarters shoot-out those weapons could do serious damage to the Russian patrol vessels during the pursuit. MANPADS are carried for air defense. That the Ukrainians did not return fire, indicates the vessels were likely not carrying ammunition for the weapon systems. This is consistent with the Ukrainian position that the boats were doing a transit and not a combat sortie.


Seemingly In Unison, Moscow Cries Ukrainian ‘Provocation’ Ordered By Washington

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is desperately trying to raise his approval ratings ahead of March vote and thinks the Kerch Strait can help him do it, Russian media and officials allege.

Russia mocks Western appeals to end Azov Sea crisis

Russia has rejected Western calls to free Ukrainian ships and sailors and to unblock access to the Azov Sea, while trumpeting its alternative account of the crisis.

Kremlin propaganda stokes anti-Ukrainian hysteria over Kerch incident | KyivPost

Kremlin propagandists have accused Ukraine of “aggression” after Russia attacked and seized three Ukrainian naval vessels on Nov. 25 after they tried to sail from the Black Sea into the Azov Sea through the Russian-controlled Kerch Strait. The Kremlin is likely to use the incident to fuel anti-Ukrainian hysteria and prop up Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s falling approval rating, Russian opposition politicians say. They also argue that, if the West’s reaction is weak, the Kremlin will be encouraged to pursue further aggressive moves against Ukraine and other countries. Russian propagandist Dmitry Kiselyov’s television show claimed on Nov. 25 that the Kerch Strait incident was a “provocation” ordered by the United States. Kiselyov accused Ukraine of warmongering and alleged that the Kerch Strait incident had been ordered by Washington in an effort to sabotage a meeting between Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump at the upcoming G20 summit in Argentina. “I’m sure that the Western puppeteers of the Kyiv regime are behind this provocation,” Sergei Aksyonov, the head of the Russian occupation administration in Ukraine’s Crimea, said on Facebook. “Ukraine, as a state deprived of sovereignty and managed from abroad, is a tool of escalating international tensions.” Kiselyov’s show also claimed that the Ukrainian navy vessels had entered Russia’s territorial waters. In fact, according to international law, the vessels were attacked by Russia on the boundary between Ukrainian territorial waters off Crimea and international waters. Meanwhile, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny made fun on Twitter of Russian propaganda: “In the upcoming month, we’ll see 30 talk shows per day discussing ‘the aggressive Kyiv military backed by hawks from the Potomac.’ This decision by (Russian dictator Vladimir Putin) was expected due to a major drop in his approval rating.” Russian opposition figure Garry Kasparov said on Twitter that “if unopposed, (Putin will) take another step and another, until he goes too far and we have the wider conflict everyone thinks they’re avoiding by not reacting to his first steps.” “The West decided that Ukrainian lives are expendable and that Putin can wage war there forever,” Kasparov added. “But dictators always need new frontiers and take apathy as permission. And this has already happened of course.” “Putin’s Syrian genocide and his information and cyber war for Brexit and against the 2016 American elections were absolutely encouraged by the weak response to his invasion of Ukraine.”

Captured Ukraine sailors ‘admit’ provoking Russia | News | The Times

Kremlin-controlled television broadcast footage today of three captive Ukrainian sailors “admitting” that they were under orders to provoke a naval clash with Russian warships in the Black Sea. The three men were shown confessing to what the Russian foreign ministry has called a “planned provocation” aimed at bringing about new sanctions against Moscow. Andriy Drach, Serhiy Tsybizov and Volodymyr Lisoviy all appeared to be reciting memorised texts. “I realised that the actions of the Ukrainian navy ships were of a provocative character,” said Mr Lisoviy, who identified himself as a divisional commander. Three of them were wounded on Sunday when Russian warships opened fire on three Ukrainian navy vessels as they attempted to pass through the Kerch Strait into the Sea of Azov where two…

Ukrainian Navy Bargaining Chip in Poroshenko’s Political Game – Security Council – Sputnik International

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Kerch Strait incident has shown that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is building his election campaign on fuelling imaginary threats in the absence of a coherent programme, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said.

Kerch Incident ‘Transparently Obvious Provocation’ by Kiev – Sputnik International

On Sunday, three Ukrainian ships crossed into Russian territorial waters in the Kerch Strait and were detained by Russia. This began a dramatic political escalation between the two countries, including Ukraine declaring martial law. A political expert told Sputnik Monday it was a carefully crafted provocation to advance a political agenda in Kiev.

Ukrainian Provocations in Kerch Strait Executed on Direct Orders from Kiev – FSB – Sputnik International

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Provocations carried out by the Ukrainian navy in the Kerch Strait area were coordinated by two officers from the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) who were aboard the ships involved in the incident, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said Monday.

Detained Ukrainian Naval Officer Admits Provocative Actions in Kerch Strait – Sputnik International

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia’s Federal Security circulated video footage on Monday where a detained Ukrainian naval officer admits that he recognized the provocative nature of the actions of the Ukrainian navy during the incident in the Kerch Strait.

Free press? Radio Liberty asks Kiev minister for permission to use RUSSIAN video of Kerch standoff — RT World News

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has gone to great lengths to ensure using a Russian video of the Kerch Strait standoff was OK with Kiev, asking none other than the Ukrainian Interior Minister for permission.

Crimea crisis: Kiev Russian Embassy PROTESTS as 23 Ukrainians DETAINED on Kerch Strait | World | News | Express.co.uk

PROTESTS ignited outside the Russian Embassy in Kiev overnight after Russia rammed and opened fire on three Ukrainian vessels on the Kerch Strait in the Black Sea, claiming the vessels had entered waters illegally and detained at least 23 Ukrainian seamen.

Ukrainian sailors captured by Russia at Kerch Strait transferred for “trial” in Simferopol, – Mejlis Chairman – 112.international

The Ukrainian sailors captured during the Russian armed attack at the ship group of the Naval Forces of Ukraine are transferred for the “trial” in Simferopol in occupied Crimea as Refat Chubarov, the Chairman of Mejlis of Crimean Tatars reported on Facebook. “The Ukrainian sailors captured by the Russian occupants of the Ukrainian vessels are already transferred to Kyiv district “court” of Simferopol,” he noted. Earlier Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin reported that Ukrainian sailors captured by Russia will be provided by the Ukrainian state lawyers.

Russia Predicting CW Attack In Donbas – By Ukraine – To Inform is to Influence

“Lukashevich also added that the Ukrainian armed forces are preparing a provocation in the Donbas with chemical weapons and the involvement of Western forces.” I can’t help but notice the similarities between Russia predicting a Chemical Weapons (CW) attack in Syria and the recent allegedly CW attack in Syria, and now this prediction of a…

Trailing Badly In Polls, Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko To Impose Martial Law, Likely Canceling Election

After a Russian attack on Ukrainian navy ships, the country’s president Petro Poroshenko and parliament will declare martial law in the country on Monday, reports from the region say.

Azov Sea: Is there a link between Putin’s low poll numbers and aggressive Russian foreign policy? – The Washington Post

Renewed tension with Ukraine comes as Vladimir Putin’s government faces problems at home.

Ilya Arkhipov | Crimea Strife Gives Putin New Chance to Test West’s Resolve – Bloomberg

The latest spike in tensions between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea offers Vladimir Putin a fresh chance to test the West’s commitment to defending Kiev at a time when the U.S. and Europe are divided and distracted by internal squabbling.

 

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russian Blogosphere Indicts Putin for New Aggression in Kerch Straits: Will the World Follow?

Paul Goble Staunton, November 26 – Moscow has violated not only international law but its own treaties with Ukraine by forcibly seizing Ukrainian vessels in international waters and wounding several Ukrainian sailors in the process. If any other country had engaged in such actions, the reaction of the international community would have been swift and overwhelming. But Russia may yet escape anything beyond another slap of the wrist for three reasons: First, it has nuclear weapons which seems to mean it never has to say it is sorry; second, its propaganda efforts by agents at home and abroad will muddy the waters; and third, Western leaders today, to use Churchill’s turn of phrase, seem “resolved to be irresolute.” That makes the judgments of Russian commentators on the Internet especially important. The Kasparov portal this morning has assembled 12 of their comments overnight. They capture both the criminal nature of Vladimir Putin’s latest act of aggression and the horror that has inspired among people of good will (http://kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5BFBAEC84519F). 

  • Igor Eidman says that the Putin regime has delivered “a new portion of war”because “war is the Viagra for the aging Putin regime.” Its ratings are falling and the share of Russians who blame it for the problems of Russia is growing. To distract attention,“today the Kremlin organized a dangerous provocation against the Ukrainian navy in the Kerch straits … a new military adventure against Ukrainians.” 
  • Viktor Shenderovich recalls that in February 2014 on the day of the opening of the Sochi Olympics, he recalled Hitler’s annexation of the Sudetenland following the success of the Berlin Olympics in 1936. It is truly frightening, he continues, to think what year from Hitler’s time, the Putin regime has now brought Russia and the world to. 
  • Olga Kortunova suggests that Putin may have engaged in this act of aggression to make himself look tough in advance of his meeting with US President Donald Trump in Argentina. The Kremlin leader “likes the role of universal outcast,”because then the way in which others respond to him shows that such a role works to his advantage. 
  • Sergey Agores says that Russian charges of a Ukrainian provocation in the Sea of Azov are equivalent to suggestions that a lonely traveler “provokes”a robber or a beautiful girl “provokes a sexual maniac” or that “a peaceful man by his very life provokes a bandit.”
  • The Bell Daily telegram channel asks what has Putin achieved? The answer is Ukraine’s decision to go to a full military posture and the international community’s decision to convene a session on the crisis at the UN Security Council. 
  • Aleksey Chelmakin says that Putin’s aggression in the Kerch Straits can generate nothing except shame because once again the Kremlin leader has shown that he sees himself fighting the US. 
  • The telegram channel Protests in the World says that the FSB and Moscow generally have offered no evidence that there was any “’provocation’” by Ukraine. 
  • Aleksey Shiropayev suggests that Putin is simply following the logic of all regimes like is: “when the popularity of the leader falls and the people are impoverished, it is necessary to decisively flex your steel muscles on the foreign policy front … In principle there is nothing new. But there is one qualitatively new moment noted by many: for the first time, Russian forces have openly under their own flag acted against Ukraine.”
  • Yury Khristenzen simply quotes the 2003 agreement between the Russian Federation and Ukraine on the Sea of Azov that Moscow has now violated. 
  • Karina Kokrell-Fere says that by this action Putin is showing that “he understands that the road now for him (and for others) leads only to Paradise.”
  • Roman Popkov says that Moscow’s disinformation campaign has gone into high gear in a transparent attempt to shift responsibility from Moscow onto Kyiv. 
  • Svetlana Gavrilina says there is no good news coming from the Sea of Azov. She could easily add, in the view of the author of these lines, that there hasn’t been the kind of news from elsewhere that could give much hope that Putin will finally be punished as the international criminal he is.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russian Leaders After Putin May Treat Ukraine Even Worse than He Does, Zisels Says

Paul Goble Staunton, November 25 – Many Ukrainians comfort themselves with the observation that Vladimir Putin can’t live forever and that after him relations between Russia and Ukraine will improve, Iosif Zisels says; but in fact, the leaders who will emerge after Putin leaves the scene may treat Russia even worse than he does. The former Soviet dissident and current head of the Association of Jewish Public Organizations and Communities of Ukraine tells Yekaterina Shumilo of the Apostrophe that this reflects the imperial nature of Russian identity (apostrophe.ua/article/society/2018-11-25/ukraine-ne-nujno-mechtat-ob-uhode-putina-mojet-stat-esche-huje—sovetskiy-dissident/21964). Ukrainians do not fully recognize that, Zisels says, and along with a past in which Ukrainians views Russians as “’elder brothers’” but have now broken with them, it explains why Ukrainians still have significantly more positive attitudes about Russians than Russians do about Ukrainians. “It isn’t Putin who is waging war against us; rather it is the Russians who are,” Zisels says. And it is critically important that Ukrainians and others understand that. Putin didn’t “make this Russia;” in a real sense, this Russia made someone like him the kind of leader it would turn to. Moreover, the Jewish activist says, Putin “isn’t the very worst variant. After Putin could come someone still worse; and thus one should not dream about his departure, although he has inflicted many misfortunes on us. For Russia, we Ukrainians are not a nation or a country, but something other and undefined. We were part of them and suddenly we decided to break out.” Because of that, their attitudes toward us are worse than ours are to them, Zisels says. “To raise one’s hand and kill an elder brother is impossible: there are psychological barriers which because of family training are very high. But when the war in the Donbass began, they were overcome.” The situation now is one in which “the younger brother is becoming stronger and does not want to much up any more with injustice on the part of the elder brother.” The latter is still strong enough to resist, but he “cannot win” in the end – and he perhaps feels this although he cannot acknowledge that fact. Among those in Putin’s entourage who are “much worse than Putin,” Zisels says, are Rogizn and Ivanov. “I am a dissident,” and that is how he looks on things in Moscow. That is why, he says, he won’t offer an optimistic scenario, but rather a pessimistic one and then help means of minimizing its consequences and maximizing Ukraine’s chances. Asked whether Russians “always want to have an emperor like Putin,” the Jewish leader says: “Never say ‘never,’ and never say ‘always. Russia in its current border cannot be a different country and cannot have a different identity. Only a force, an external force can stop it without engaging in a military conflict.” That is what happened in the 1980s, when the West without military conflict was able to “defeat the Soviet Union in the Cold War. And now the same thing is possible. We cannot impose our identity on them: their identity will resist … We must leave them in peace and allow evolution to work.” According to Zisels, “practically everything can be changed in an evolutionary manner. Artificially we cannot replace the psychology of Russians: there are 150 million of them, a majority of which have a different identity” than others do. “Many dream about the disintegration of Russia, but I look on that prospect with dread,” he continues. “I understand that Crimea may be returned when Russia begins to fall apart and that the Donbass perhaps can be returned even earlier.” But Ukrainians should reflect as to what a group of states on its eastern border, many with nuclear weapons, might mean. “What could we do with such a situation? Fight with all of them? Are we ready for this?” A smaller state can arm itself and become more powerful than its larger neighbors: Israel is a good example of that. But are Ukrainians prepared to make the kind of sacrifices that will require? The answer is far from clear. Asked in conclusion about how long empires can exist in the present-day world, Zisels says that there are two competing trends, one toward amalgamation and the other towards decentralization. In some places, the one will dominate and in others, the other. “For me, balance is importance. Neither tendency must win.” If the first were to win out, we would have a world empire; if the second, “a chaotic world.” At present, there are some 200 countries. A few of them are fighting one another; but most have found a way to live in peace and even cooperate, Zisels concludes.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kashin’s Comments Show Russian Liberalism Ends Well Before Ukraine

Paul Goble Staunton, November 25 – It has long been a commonplace that Russian liberalism ends at Ukraine, that however liberal a Russian may be, he or she is more likely than not to be a supporter of an imperial approach to Ukraine; but in fact, as new comments by Oleg Kashin show, Russian liberalism ends well before Ukraine. The Russian journalist who lives in London enjoys the reputation of a liberal even though he supported the Anschluss of Crimea. But his “chauvinist” views are increasingly in evidence. On the Personally Yours program of Ekho Moskvy three days ago, he made remarks that have infuriated not only Ukrainians but many non-Russians inside the current borders of Russia. “There are world cultures,” he said; “there are local ones, and there are disputable cultures … It is stupid to deny that some have made greater contributions, others less, and the third like the Ukrainians …” But then he added that Gabdulla Tukay and Mustay Karim were not worthy of having their names affixed to the airports in Kazan and Ufa (echo.msk.ru/programs/personalnovash/2320082-echo/). Not surprisingly, Ukrainians are outraged, but so too are the Tatars and Bashkirs who reasonably resent the Orwellian attitude that “all nations are equal but some are more equal than others” – and that they are members of national communities that are definitely in the latter category as far as that Russian liberal is concerned (business-gazeta.ru/article/403715). In fact, some Tatars and Bashkirs have labelled him “a liberal fascist.” One can easily understand their outrage. “My friends, the patriots in Moscow, the Russian nationalists, imperialists, whoever, ask who is this Gubadulla Tukay in Kazan? There is no such Tukay. Let’s make the name Lobachevsky. In principle,” Oreshkin said, “I also consider that Lobachevsky for the city of Kazan which all the same is more a Russian city … means more than Gabadulla Tukay” The reaction of the Tatar-language internet was instantaneous and overwhelmingly negative, Kazan’s Business-Gazeta reports. It provides numerous examples with Tatars charging Kashin with imperialism, extremism, xenophobia, hypocrisy and simply ignorance. No one came to his defense. But the reaction to Kashin’s remarks were not limited to the Tatar version of Facebook. Maksim Shevchenko, a prominent journalist, weighed in as well. “You know why there is liberal fascism and what it is? It is a sum of stupidity, ignorance, provincial complexes, greed, racism, and love for the state.” “The little fool Kashin,” Shevchenko says, simply is saying loudly and boldly what “all liberal fascists think and babble about in their kitchens. This is their Russia … Let the peoples of Russia hear, listen, think and draw conclusions.” For “liberal fascists,” the best the non-Russians can hope for is some kind of reservation “’for the natives.’” There is one positive aspect of this story, Shevchenko suggests. Kashin has dropped his mask and that of those who think as he does. Non-Russians and others should in fact “draw conclusions” from that.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Without Waiting for West, Ukraine Must Show the World ‘King Putin has No Clothes,’ Milovanov Says

Paul Goble Staunton, November 26 – Russia’s latest act of aggression in the Kerch Straits show two things, Timofey Milovanov says. On the one hand, Vladimir Putin has no plans to stop such actions as long as Ukraine exists. And on the other, Ukraine can’t count on genuine support from the West and the international community. As a result, the deputy head of the Council of the National Bank of Ukraine says, Kyiv must recognize that it “is not in a position to stop Russia. It doesn’t control the course of events. It is short-signed and focused on immediate tasks, and it has put off the carrying out of fundamental reforms” (nv.ua/opinion/kak-pobedit-rossiju-shest-shahov-2509519.html). The only positive way forward, Milovanov continues, is to clearly recognize that “Russia’s goal is to subordinate the Ukrainian government to itself or to replace it by one Moscow controls. In a word, it would like to teach Ukraine a lesson: the country must surrender and uniting with the EU must be taken off the agenda.” To effectively counter Moscow then, he says, “Ukraine must convince Russia that it has finally and irreversible ‘gone West.’” It “must demonstrate that there is no path backward, despite the intensified efforts of Russia” in that regard. And given this understanding, it must “create stimuli for Russia to end the conflict.” The banker proposes “six steps for Ukraine thanks to which it will win a victory over the Russian Federation,” and he pointedly notes that “the majority of them are in no way connected with military action”: · First, “the Ukrainian people must continue to insist on the transparency of the government. Secret agreements with Russia by Ukrainian and Russian oligarchs and also within the Ukrainian government itself must be cancelled.” · Second, attract into the government, including the military, “as many pro-Western specialists as possible,” people “who have lived or received their education abroad.” Such people are a precondition for breaking entirely from the Soviet and Russian pasts. · Third, “weaken Russia’s business prospects by having Western companies sell off shares offering the slightest benefit to the Russian oligarchs” and “introduce a visa regime and strengthen border controls over trade with Russia.” · Fourth, bring charges against Russia in international courts. · Fifth, “arrest, charge or at least remove those who in government positions display criminal inactivity. The country is at war!” · And sixth, “continue essential reforms,” including guaranteeing the right of property in Ukraine, focusing on the security of financial structures, reduce “ineffective government expenditures,” open the country to more direct foreign investment while closing off channels for money from Russia, protect the most socially defenseless, bring more foreigners into the judicial system, and privatization process, and change laws so that other countries can go after the corrupt. “As in 2014,” Milovanov writes, “Ukrainians must unite and fight the aggressor without waiting for the reaction of the West or of their own government. Ukrainians must show the world that the Russian king is naked. One cannot fight with the enemy only half way. Either we struggle or we [will be compelled to] surrender.”

Russian ‘creeping annexation’ hits Ukraine in Sea of Azov

Russian ships opened fire at three Ukrainian vessels Sunday after they attempted to enter the Sea of Azov, a body of water between Ukraine, Russia and Crimea.

The Coming War over Ukraine?

The danger of escalation is real and must be treated as such.

Russia-Ukraine Fight Over Narrow Sea Passage Risks Wider War – The New York Times

The opening of an overt front at sea introduced an unstable element into what had been a long-running war fought over land in eastern Ukraine.

Russia’s attack on Ukrainian ships could mean a bigger war – Vox

Russian ships attacked Ukrainian vessels in the Kerch Strait, blocking access to the Crimea-hugging Sea of Azov.

In Ukraine, Putin and Petro Poroshenko Don’t Want All-Out War – Bloomberg

Russia’s aggressive naval action against Ukraine serves the domestic interests of two presidents with flagging popular support.

Russia’s Seizure Of Ukrainian Ships Is An ‘Outrageous Violation,’ Haley Says At U.N. : NPR

The countries are trading blame over a maritime dispute in which Russia fired on Ukrainian vessels, injuring some sailors. The incident has sparked Ukrainian protests and an international backlash.

Haley Chastises Russia: ‘This Is No Way for a Law-Abiding, Civilized Nation to Act’

Nikki Haley firmly condemned Russia captured three Ukrainian naval vessels off the coast of Crimea.

Haley: Russia Must ‘Immediately Cease Its Unlawful Conduct’ Near Crimea – Talking Points Memo

 

Nikki Haley Decries ‘Reckless Russian Escalation’ Against Ukraine Ships

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley denounced Russia’s aggressive actions in Ukraine, condeming its “reckless” behavior.

U.S. Ambassador to UN condemns Russia’s ‘outlaw’ actions against Ukrainian ships – media | UNIAN

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, accused Russia on Monday of taking “outlaw actions” against Ukrainian ships in an incident at sea this weekend, and vowed that sanctions punishing Russia’s annexation of Crimea would continue. Haley pointedly noted she had spoken with President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo before coming to the Security Council.

U.S. calls on Poroshenko, Putin to engage directly to resolve Black Sea escalation | UNIAN

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says that the United States calls on Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to engage directly to resolve a recent escalation in the Black Sea. The U.S. calls on Russia to return to Ukraine its vessels and detained crew members.

Bob Menendez: Give Ukrainian navy ‘lethal’ weapons against Russia

President Trump should give the Ukraine “lethal maritime equipment and weapons” in the wake of Russia’s seizure of three Ukrainian naval vessels in a key disputed shipping lane, according to the top Senate Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee.

Senator Bob Menendez on Twitter: “The Kremlin only respects a strong adversary that is willing to stand up to bullies. At this precarious time, the U.S. cannot afford a weak performance by President Trump at the G20. He must show American leadership in defense of our principles and our close allies across Europe… https://t.co/PKAxCiDCgl”

US sees Kerch Strait incident as Russia’s dangerous escalation

27.11.18 11:22 – US sees Kerch Strait incident as Russia’s dangerous escalation The U.S. condemns aggressive Russian action urging Ukraine’s Russian presidents to engage directly to resolve this situation. View news.

NATO chief: No justification for use of military force against Ukrainian ships | UNIAN

Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Jens Stoltenberg says that there is no justification for the use of military force by Russia against Ukrainian boats near the Kerch Strait in the Black Sea on November 25. Russia’s ongoing militarization of Crimea, the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, poses further threats to Ukraine’s independence.

Theresa May condemns Russian aggression over seizure of Ukrainian ships | The Times

Theresa May has condemned an attack by Russian warships on Ukrainian military vessels in the Black Sea as an act of aggression, as Kremlin officials accused Kiev of conspiring with the West to secure backing for further economic sanctions against Moscow. The United Nations security council discusse

Germany ′greatly concerned′ about Crimea crisis | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 26.11.2018

The German government has called on both Ukraine and Russia to de-escalate following a military crisis near the Crimean peninsula. Russia has seized three Ukrainian ships.

West Rallies Behind Ukraine, Calls On Russia To Release Detained Sailors

Western nations have rallied behind Ukraine after Russia fired on Ukrainian ships and seized 23 sailors in the Black Sea off the coast of the Russian-controlled Crimean Peninsula.

Russian attack on Ukrainian ships sparks global condemnation – YouTube

PBS NewsHour Published on Nov 26, 2018 A maritime confrontation between Ukraine and Russia has launched an unpredictable phase in their conflict. After a Russian ship rammed a Ukrainian tugboat and fired upon its sailors, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the actions “a dangerous escalation,” and the head of NATO said there was “no justification” for Russia’s aggression. John Yang reports on the political implications of the clash.

Reuters: Trump says he does not like Russia-Ukraine situation | UNIAN

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday said he does not like what is happening between Russia and Ukraine, a day after Russian crews seized Ukrainian vessels near Crimea. Trump said European leaders were working on the situation.

Will President Trump hold Russia accountable over Ukraine? – YouTube

CNN Published on Nov 26, 2018 President Donald Trump said he was “not happy at all” about a dangerous new crisis involving Russia and Ukraine. CNN’s Brian Todd reports there are high stakes on the high seas. #CNN #News

Russia made its move — and Trump blinked

Russia over the weekend mounted its most serious aggression against Ukraine since President Trump took office, and America punted. Trump’s outgoing ambassador…

Trump’s Ukraine Response Muted as He Punts the Problem to Europe – Bloomberg

The Trump administration’s expressions of frustration with Russia over its latest conflict with Ukraine did little to mask a conviction that the flare-up in Crimea is largely Europe’s problem to solve.

After Putin’s Ukraine aggression, time for Trump to strongman Russia with new sanctions

Russian naval forces on Sunday captured three Ukrainian naval vessels and 23 crew members in the Sea of Azov. But this wasn’t some accident born out of miscommunication or anger. Instead, this blatant aggression (the Russians fired on the Ukrainians) reflects Russian President Vladimir Putin’s interest in dominating eastern Ukraine’s airspace, land, and water.

No, don’t send the US Navy into the Sea of Azov

The U.S. should provide tangible diplomatic and military support to Ukraine. But it would be very ill-advised for the U.S. Navy to challenge Russia for access control over the Sea of Azov.

Opinion | Russia Attacks Ukrainian Ships and International Law – The New York Times

A provocation that could tighten Russia’s illegal hold on Crimea.

Vladimir Putin needs to feel real consequences for his aggression – CNN

A few days after the fifth anniversary of Euromaidan — the wave of demonstrations that kicked off in Ukraine in November 2013 — vessels belonging to the Russian Coast Guard opened fire against three Ukrainian Navy ships, according to Ukraine’s military, that were trying to pass through the Strait of Kerch.

Q and A: Russia Attacks Ukraine Again. How Should Ukraine, NATO, and the West Respond? – To Inform is to Influence

26 November 2018 BY MELINDA HARING http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/ukrainealert/q-a-russia-attacks-ukraine-again-how-should-ukraine-nato-and-the-west-respond? On November 25, Russia fired on the Ukrainian Navy in the Black Sea, injuring at least two Ukrainian sailors. Many experts have warned that Russia is opening a new front in its forgotten war in Ukraine on the Black and Azov Seas, illegally boarding commercial Ukrainian vessels and increasing its military…

Ukrainian parliament votes to impose martial law after Russia allegedly seized country’s ships | Fox News

Ukraine’s parliament voted on Monday to impose martial law in the Eastern European country for 30 days after Russia allegedly fired at Ukrainian ships near Crimea on Sunday.

Ukraine Declares Martial Law Along Borders With Russia, Black Sea

Move follows attack, seizure by Russia of three Ukrainian ships in Black Sea confrontation; US calls Russian act ‘outrageous violation’

Ukraine’s Martial Law Declaration Explained

Parliament approves executive order imposing martial law in parts of the country, in response to Russia’s seizure of three Ukrainian naval vessels and their crew members

Parliament green-lights martial law in Ukraine: 30-day period in certain districts | UNIAN

The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, has given the green light to a presidential decree on the introduction of martial law in Ukraine. The decision was backed by 276 lawmakers.

Ukraine-Russia clash: MPs back martial law – BBC News

Authorities can now restrict public rallies and regulate the media amid rising tension with Russia.

President on the decision to impose martial law: It does not mean the declaration of war. It is the enhancement of Ukraine’s defense against the background of growing aggressiveness from Russia | Міноборони

“Martial law does not mean the declaration of war. It is introduced solely for the purpose of strengthening Ukraine’s defense against the background of growing aggressiveness from Russia,” the President noted. The Head of State noted that today, the Parliament will consider the issue of extreme importance, which directly concerns the protection and security of citizens, security of Ukraine, its sovereignty and territorial integrity. “According to the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine adopted tonight, as President and as Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, I have fulfilled my constitutional duty and a few hours ago, by my decree, I introduced martial law all over Ukraine starting from 9 am, November 28,” Petro Poroshenko informed. “Our joint responsibility, first of all mine, as of Supreme Commander-in-Chief, is to protect Ukraine. And Ukraine’s defense is not only the defense of territory or military equipment. This is primarily the protection of people. We must be as prepared as possible for any action by our aggressive, volatile and, unfortunately, pretty unpredictable neighbor,” the President emphasized. According to him, the NSDC recommended to introduce martial law for 60 days. “I want to announce to you my decision — I will propose to the Parliament to introduce martial law for 30 days,” the Head of State noted. The President reminded that Russia has been waging a hybrid war against our country for five years. “But with an attack on Ukrainian military boats it moved to a new stage of aggression. No one will say now: ‘They are not there’. No one camouflages into green humanoids or militiamen. This is a bold and frank participation of the regular units of the Russian Federation, their demonstrative attack on the detachment of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. This is a qualitatively different situation, a qualitatively different threat,” he said. The President also underlined: “This attack, of course, is not accidental. This is clearly an element planned by Russians in the escalation of the situation in the waters of the Sea of Azov, which has been lasting for several months. And I’m sure this is still not a culmination”. The President noted that the security officials and diplomats have already informed of all the circumstances of yesterday’s incident today at a press conference. “Reconnaissance data suggest an extremely serious threat of a land-based operation against Ukraine. I have a document of intelligence in my hands, a summary of our intelligence data. Here on several pages is a detailed description of all the forces of the enemy located at a distance of literally several dozens of kilometers from our border. Ready at any moment for an immediate invasion of Ukraine. A rifle hanging on the wall will go off sooner or later. And these are planes, helicopters, tanks, missile complexes, armored personnel carriers, salvo fire systems,” the Head of State said.

President: Martial law will be imposed only in several regions | Міноборони

President Petro Poroshenko emphasizes that martial law will be introduced in several regions only in case of the ground operation of the regular troops of Russia outside the Joint Forces Operation and outside the illegally annexed Crimea. “Following the results of the discussion, the draft law approving the Decree envisages the introduction of martial law exclusively in the regions located along the Russian border, along the Transnistrian section of the Ukrainian-Moldovan border, along the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea,” the Head of State stressed at the Verkhovna Rada session. “It is exactly where the blow can take place,” Petro Poroshenko emphasized. The Head of State listed these areas: Vinnytsia, Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Sumy, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Kherson, as well as the internal waters of the Azov-Kerch water area.

Ukraine’s Rada proposes maritime states to send warships to Black-Azov seas region | UNIAN

The relevant call is laid down in the appeal, adopted Monday, to the UN, European Parliament, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, NATO PA, OSCE PA, PA GUAM, national parliaments in the lights of yet another aggressive act against Ukraine on the part of the Russian Federation, according to an UNIAN correspondent. The parliament expresses resolute protest against Russia’s aggressive actions in connection with the armed attack and the seizure of the Ukrainian military boats Berdyansk, Nikopol and the tug boat Yana Kapu, as well as the wounding and capture of their crew. The Rada also demands that Russia provide emergency medical care to wounded Ukrainian sailors, ensure their immediate safe return to Ukraine, as well as return of illegally seized military property and compensate for damages. The Verkhovna Rada urges the international community to take effective measures to stop Russian aggression both on land and at sea, including by applying new and strengthening existing sanctions until full restoration of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within internationally recognized borders.

Ukraine prepares for martial law in regions: anti-tank ditches, checkpoints – 112.international

From November 28, the special regime of martial law will start in ten Ukrainian regions. The regional heads in the commentary for 112 Ukraine told about the ongoing preparations. Vinnytsia region “We are talking about a special legal regime that will be introduced on the territory of the region. We have a 32-kilometer border with Transnistria. We have taken serious measures: in 2014-2015 we dug a large 30 km anti-tank ditch, and that part of the border is calm. When we talk about the legal regime, the defense council held a meeting yesterday, with the territorial offices of the ministries and departments, including of the Defense Ministry, National Guard, the Mohyliv-Podilsky border detachment, and the Security Service. The presidential decree clearly defines the procedure of taking measures. The mobilization reserve is being established and immediate reserve forces are being notified,” the head of Vinnytsia Regional State Administration Valeriy Koroviy said. At the same time, he assured that after the introduction of martial law, the rights and freedoms of civilians will not be restricted. “We are taking a number of measures connected, first of all, with the coordination of work of the law enforcement agencies and departments in Vinnytsia region, in particular, in matters of territorial defense,” Koroviy added. Zaporizhia region “The peculiarity of Zaporizhia region is that we have more than 200 km of the Azov coast, and this defines some conditions. Since 2014, much has been done in the region: stepping-up, checkpoints. The law does not specify that they will be used, except in case of aggravation of situation or its balance. Today we are planning a number of measures. The defense council of the region will be convened today and the authorities have to ensure that the actions of all Defense Ministry units, Interior Ministry units, the law enforcement bodies, industrial enterprises are in synch. We must understand what we have and what we can have to conduct such work,” the head of Zaporizhia Regional State Administration Konstyantyn Bryl said. He also assured that the rights and freedoms of the civilian population would not be limited. “Freedom will not collapse, public order protection will be strengthened, there may be more patrols on the streets and more care on the roads, first of all, it is necessary to make filtration moments of ideologically directed Russian channels, which I believe should be done first in the border areas” , – Brill added. “Freedoms will not be restricted, just the public order protection will be strengthened. There may be more patrols on the streets and more watch on the roads. First of all, it is necessary filtrate ideologically set Russian channels, which I believe should be done first in the border areas,” Bryl added. Mykolaiv region “Mykolaiv region is in regular mode. After November 28, when the martial law enters in force, After that, we will act within the frameworks of current legislation. I can stress that Mykolaiv region as a border area is always ready. Our local drills, all of the guidelines we have been making for 2,5 years show that both the servicemen and the community of Mykolaiv take it calmly, adequately, without excessive emotions and without any populist thingies,” the head of Mykolaiv Regional State Administration Oleksiy Savchenko said. Kherson region “Kherson region has long been living in such a state since Crimea was occupied. For us, the question of the unkind neighboring is always on the agenda. Which is why, it’s been 2 years since we have established our system of territorial defense. We were the first in Ukraine to do so; we are constantly carrying out exercises. Later we created a territorial defense brigade and a month ago we completed a large-scale training in the entire area. We also have an Anti-Terrorist Center, where we conduct drills, training. Yesterday’s decision of the Verkhovna Rada, we held the first meeting of the defense council of Kherson region, where we discussed the possible actions taking into account the defense plan of Kherson region during the martial law,” the chairman of Kherson Regional State Administration Andriy Hordeyev said. He added that after Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko meets with the defense departments in the regions, there should be further instructions for further tactical work. “Today, after these meetings, we will hold another defense council, where we will approve an action plan on martial law. We are waiting for specific implementation directives,” Hordeyev stated.

UAWire – Ukraine institutes martial law

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has introduced martial law in several regions of Ukraine. 276 of Ukrainian lawmakers supported the bill prepared …

Nobody believes Russia — President about the meeting of the UN Security Council regarding the situation in the Sea of Azov | Міноборони

During a speech in the Verkhovna Rada, President Petro Poroshenko stressed that today’s meeting of the United Nations Security Council showed that nobody believes Russia and there is a clearly recorded fact of the aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine in the Sea of Azov. The President emphasized that, as Supreme Commander-in-Chief, he has information about the risks and threats to the state after the Russian aggression against the Ukrainian Navy’s warships, which was absolutely clearly proven and presented to all countries and capitals of the world today. The Head of State stressed that today an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on the situation in the Sea of Azov was held, where the Russian and Ukrainian draft decisions were considered. “Russian version with a thesis that Ukraine has allegedly violated the Russian border. Do you know how it was viewed in New York? They refused to consider it, because nobody believes Russia. And this is the fruit of our work aimed to form a world coalition in support of Ukraine. And Ukraine has submitted its draft, which was supported by an absolute majority of votes,” Petro Poroshenko said. In addition, according to him, at NATO headquarters in Brussels, a decision was made to hold a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine special commission after the world saw what was happening in the Sea of Azov and when our intelligence provided convincing evidence of the risk for Ukrainian soldiers, of the opened fire, of the damaged Ukrainian warships, of the worthy behavior of the Ukrainian sailors. “There is a clearly recorded evidence of the aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine in the Sea of Azov,” the President said. The Head of State added: “What was Putin waiting for?.. Putin was waiting for the return of Tskhinvali… So that such appeals … So that we repeat the fate of Georgia. So that we give a handle to ensure the shedding of blood of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians. So that we lose support of the whole world and remain on our own with our problems”. “Ukraine has chosen a completely different way. For four and a half years, a Ukrainian warrior and a Ukrainian army, a Ukrainian citizen, a taxpayer, Ukrainian authorities and the Ukrainian Parliament, the Ukrainian Government and the Ukrainian President have been doing everything they can to protect their native land,” Petro Poroshenko emphasized.

Ukraine’s Joint Forces put on full alert – war news

Military units of Ukraine’s Joint Forces Operation (JFO) have been put on full alert. The move was caused by the latest developments in the Black-Azov seas area.

Russia nurtures plans to invade entire Ukraine’s south up to Transnistria, FM Klimkin says

27.11.18 13:14 – Russia nurtures plans to invade entire Ukraine’s south up to Transnistria, FM Klimkin says The Russian Federation intends to invade a part of Ukraine from Mariupol to Transnistria and dismember the country further. View news.

Yelchenko: Сlear threat of Russia invading, grabbing Mariupol, Berdyansk | UNIAN

Ukraine’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Volodymyr Yelchenko has said there is a clear threat of Russia invading and seizing the Azov Sea port cities of Mariupol and Berdyansk in eastern Ukraine. Ukraine is ready to settle the situation through political and diplomatic means, the diplomat said.

Russian aggression is aimed at establishing full control over the Black Sea to influence the countries in the region, Vadym Skibitskyi | Міноборони

Representative of the Defence Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine Vadym Skibitskyi has reported it during a briefing Military Strategic Evaluation of the threat of invasion into Ukraine by the Russian armed forces. According to him, in addition to the domination in the waters of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, the aggressor is striving to prevent return of Crimea under the Ukrainian jurisdiction, create a counterbalance to the US and NATO activities in the eastern flank, and extend its military presence in the Mediterranean region. PA Directorate of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

Russia builds up its military potential around Ukraine, Defence Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine reports | Міноборони

Representative of the Defence Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine Vadym Skibitskyi has reported it during a briefing Military Strategic Evaluation of the threat of invasion into Ukraine by the Russian armed forces. Particularly, Vadym Skibitskyi mentioned that military strategic situation around Ukraine is tense and predefined by the following factors: — ongoing Russian armed aggression in the east of Ukraine; — Russia builds up military potential; — Militarization of the waters of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov; and — Realization of comprehensive activities of operative, combat, and mobilization preparation with practical deployment of the Russian armed forces groups. PA Directorate of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

Russia deploys 500 combat aircraft along border with Ukraine – Defense Ministry – 27.11.2018 10:51 — Ukrinform News

Russia has currently deployed about 500 combat aircraft and up to 340 helicopters along its border with Ukraine, a representative of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, Vadym Skibitsky, has said.&nbsp;

UAWire – Turchynov: Russia concentrating its military forces along Ukrainian borders

During an emergency meeting in Kyiv, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC), Oleksandr Turchynov, stated that along the land borders of Ukraine and Russia, units of the Russian Armed Forces carry out training, perhaps for the invasion of Ukraine. Turchynov noted that for five years Kremlin has been waging an undeclared war against Ukraine, but today for the first time, Moscow has attacked Ukrainian troops not disguising itself as various groups like “volunteers” or some kind of “militia”. At the same time, he noted that earlier, Russia tried to hide its actions by repeating “we are not there” and using, in particular, within the ranks of the Donbas pro-Russian militants, Russian soldiers in uniforms without insignia. “We see that today, military units of the Armed Forces, the FSB of the Russian Federation attacked our Navy. That is why we speak about the danger of provocations not only in the Black and Azov seas but also on land. We see the active training of Russia’s military units along our northern, eastern and southern borders, “- said Turchynov. According to him, the time has come to impose the martial law in Ukraine. As reported on November 25, Russian border guards attacked and captured two military boats and a tug boat of the Ukrainian Navy. All three vessels were damaged as a result of the attack by Russians. Six Ukrainian sailors were injured. Previously, the Russian ship rammed the Ukrainian tug boat Yany Kapu, which, accompanied the Berdiansk and Nikopol armored boats, sailed from the port of Odessa to Mariupol. Later, Russia blocked Kerch Strait with a tanker, which had disabled the automatic identification system.

Minister of Defence of Ukraine holds talks with US Ambassador to Ukraine | Міноборони

 

 

Minister of Defence of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak has held talks with US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and newly appointed Senior Advisor (US) Mr Keith Dayton. Minister of Defence briefed the foreign delegation on current situation in the waters of the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait. Stepan Poltorak mentioned that yesterday the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine passed the Presidential Decree on imposing the Martial Law for 30 days in several regions. The Martial Law is a preventive measure in case of the Russian large-scale land military operation against Ukraine. We need to check the readiness to respond to any events, Stepan Poltorak said, Following the Presidential statement, the rights and liberties, as well as the media work will not be restricted. According to the head of the Ministry of Defence, in the context of the current situation, the Ministry is implementing a range of activities aimed at increasing the level of the Ukrainian army readiness to repel the external aggression, including preparation of all the ministries and authorities to eventual situation development. Moreover, a centre to coordinate the work of MoD and General Staff will be deployed. It will also inform the executive authorities in terms of comprehensive support of the army. During the meeting, Ms Yovanovitch has introduced Senior Advisor (US) Mr Keith Dayton who starts his work in the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine and General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. I do know your culture and challenges you face to achieve the Alliance principles and standards. I am committed to doing you better. I take it very seriously to advise you and I am looking to find the Ukrainian solution to implement the NATO norms. I am here and I will be with you to understand and hear your needs through meetings, consultations, dialog, and situation analysis, he said. Mr Dayton knows well the challenges and advantages of the region. He is also the director of the George C. Marshall European Centre for Security Studies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. The parties also focused on discussion of realization of the principal projects of the defence reform, including activities realized within the defence ministry in line with the national security law, implementation of the civil democratic control within the Ministry of Defence, increase of transparency of the procurement in order to avoid abuses in this sphere, reform of the defence education, defence review, and reform of the command and control system of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Russian used aviation during attack on Ukraine Navy boats in Kerch Strait – Muzhenko | UNIAN

Chief of the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces Gen. Viktor Muzhenko has said Russian aviation was used, among other means, during the attack on the Ukrainian Navy boats in the Kerch Strait. A Su-30 fighter jet launched two missiles, the military official says. Chief of the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces Gen. Viktor Muzhenko has said Russian aviation was used, among other means, during the attack on the Ukrainian Navy boats in the Kerch Strait. “Today it became known that Russian aviation was also used during the attack on the Ukrainian ships. A Su-30 fighter jet launched two missiles,” Muzhenko said at an extraordinary meeting of the Verkhovna Rada on Monday, according to an UNIAN correspondent. Muzhenko said three Ukrainian military were wounded and another three were injured during yesterday’s events. He said the three wounded soldiers, according to the Ukrainian intelligence agencies, were hospitalized to the Kerch Pirogov hospital. Ukrainian boats had been tugged to the Kerch port. Muzhenko stressed the response of the Russian Federation could be qualified as aggression since the territory of any vessel is a sovereign territory of the state to which it belongs.

Ukraine has irrefutable evidence of aggressive actions by Russian vessels in Black Sea – Navy – 27.11.2018 12:29 — Ukrinform News

The Ukrainian Armed Forces have irrefutable technical evidence of aggressive actions by Russian military vessels in the Black Sea, the press service of the Ukrainian Navy has reported.

Ukraine intercepts radio comms of Russian coast guards with Command amid attack on Ukraine Navy boats (Transcript) | UNIAN

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine published an audio recording of intercepted radio communications between Russian Command and their crews of coast guard vessels, who attacked, rammed, and captured Ukrainian boats near the Kerch Strait, preventing their passage to the Sea of Azov as part of a scheduled redeployment routine. “It seems that the president is already in control of this…” the Russian military is heard saying.

Ukrainian naval personnel taken prisoners by Russians giving false testimony under pressure — Ukraine’s Navy commander

Ihor Voronchenko, commander of the Naval Forces of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, has said that the Ukrainian naval personnel taken prisoners by Russians in the Kerch Strait are being forced to give false testimony under pressure. “The crews of our vessels are now being held in different places. Three of the naval personnel, an officer and two contract sailors, who were wounded, are being treated in hospital in Kerch. Our vessels are anchored in the naval base where FSB boats are stationed. And there are certain reports that our sailors have started giving out false information,” he said during the Freedom of Speech program that was aired by ICTV channel on November 27 late night. Voronchenko said there is a video published on the web that is featuring three sailors who have given testimony under physical and psychological pressure. “I know those sailors from Nikopol. They have always been honest professionals in their jobs. And what they say now is not true,” Voronchenko said. The Ukrainian Navy commander said those Ukrainian sailors have already spoken to their lawyers. Also, Voronchenko said two of the military personnel are natives of Crimea and since their parents continue to live in the peninsula the former will come under pressure. When asked to comment on the information disseminated by the Russian media that there were SBU officers on board of the Ukrainian naval vessels, Voronchenko said, “They [the Russian party] may say that we have come from the sky on a spaceship.”

Ukrainian naval personnel captured by Russia in Kerch Strait are prisoners of war by status, they cannot be put on trial — Klimkin

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has said making the Ukrainian naval personnel captured by Russia in the Kerch Strait stand trial is “a nonsense” because they are prisoners of war. “First of all, it’s our highest priority to free our guys. We are currently in talks with the Red Cross because, by status, our guys are prisoners of war. Russia has made several acts of aggression against us, and the Red Cross must actively get involved in this,” Klimkin said in the Breakfast with 1+1 program, which was aired live on television on November 27 morning. The minister also said talks are underway with human rights activists and with the Crimean Tatar community in Russia-occupied Crimea. “Since prisoners of war cannot stand trial by default, it’s a nonsense; however, Russia is doing it. We must at least protect them for today, at least for the next few days,” the minister said.

On board Ukrainian ships attacked by Russia were SBU counterintelligence agents, one seriously injured

On board Ukrian Navy ships attacked and captured by Russia in the Kerch Strait on November 25 there were counterintelligence agents from Ukraine’s SBU State Security Service, SBU chief Vasyl Hrytsak has said. According to the press service of the Security Service of Ukraine, officers of the Ukrainian special services performed official tasks for counterintelligence support of the Ukrainian Navy unit, as provided for in Article 12 of the Law “On the Security Service of Ukraine.” “For more than four years of Russian aggression, Ukrainian military counterintelligence has been on the front lines, fighting side by side with the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the National Guard and the State Border Service. And this will always be so,” Hrytsak said. Russia used six vessels under the command of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) and four navy vessels, as well as military aircraft, including helicopters. “According to the confirmed operational SBU information, one of the Russian attack aircraft fired two unguided rockets at the Ukrainian boats, as a result of which one of the SBU officers was seriously wounded,” the SBU said, adding that it is doing everything it can to secure the release of the detained seamen and return them to their families.

SBU confirms counterintelligence officers were on board navy boats captured by Russia | UNIAN

Head of the SBU Security Service of Ukraine Vasyl Hrytsak confirms the information about the SBU’s military counterintelligence officers being on board the Navy boats attacked and seized by the Russian coast guards near the Kerch Strait on November 25, 2018 Officers of the Ukrainian special service were carrying out tasks in the framework of counterintelligence support of the Ukrainian Navy unit as provided for by article 12 of the Law of Ukraine “On the Security Service of Ukraine.” “For more than four years of the Russian aggression, the Ukrainian military counterintelligence officers have been on the forefront, alongside their brothers in arms from the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the National Guard and the State Border Guard Service. And it will always be this way. The ‘surprise’ of individual Russian officials regarding the presence of SBU personnel on board the boats does not at all indicate the absence of such practice in the counterintelligence agencies of the aggressor country. But the real surprise is that Russians used six ‘FSB’ and four naval vessels, as well as combat helicopters and aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces against two Ukrainian boats and a small tugboat. By the way, according to confirmed operational information of the SBU, one of the Russian attack aircraft used two combat unguided missiles against Ukrainian boats, resulting in one of the SBU officers being seriously wounded,” according to the SBU’s press center.

Ukraine’s Security Service confirms data about two officers on board of Russia-seized vessels – 112.international

The Chairman of Ukraine’s Security Service Vasyl Hrytsak confirmed that two officers of counter-intelligence service were on board of Ukrainian military vessels, which were attacked and seized by the Russian side in Kerch Strait, as the press office of the service reported. “The officers of the Ukrainian special service were conducting task on counter-intelligence support of the Navy unit as it is provided by the article No. 12 of Ukraine’s Law “On Ukraine’s Security Service”. For more than four years of the Russian aggression, the Ukrainian counter-intelligence men were on the frontline with their friends from Nay, National Guard and State Border Guard Service. And they will always be,” the message says. At the same time, it was added that such things are practiced in the Russian counter-intelligence bodies as well, so this is not a surprise. “What surprises us, is that Russia used six FSB and four Navy watercraft along with Russian Aerospace Forces helicopter gunships and warplanes against two Ukrainian boats and small tug. By the way, according to the confirmed SBU information, one of the Russian fighters used two unguided rocket missiles against the Ukrainian boats, as a result of what, one of the SBU officers sustained serious injury,” Security Service informed.

Злой Одессит on Twitter: “The rushists also revealed damage to the cabin of the “Berdyansk” gunboat. Through the holes it can be seen that various calibers were used. This confirms that the aim of the Russian pirates was not to stop the boat, disabling the engine, but to harm the crew https://uc.od.ua/columns/1533/1208827 …

MrRevinsky on Twitter: “#Ukraine #Crimea #Kerch Pic of the damaged Ukrainian boat “Berdyansk” held in Kerch port.… “

Su-30SM FLANKER H 

Explainer: What The Kerch Strait Skirmish Tells Us About A Simmering European Conflict

Tensions were already high between bitter foes Russia and Ukraine, but there’s even more murk than usual following a weekend clash near the Sea of Azov.

Here’s What Happened In Russia And Ukraine’s Naval Clash | HuffPost

Ukraine has voted to impose martial law following the incident, which marks a serious escalation in tensions between the two countries.

What you need to know about the conflict in the Sea of Azov | News | DW | 26.11.2018

Moscow and Kyiv are locked in dispute over an incident in the Kerch Strait off the coast of the Crimean peninsula. What is it all about?

World war 3: Conflict escalates as Russian special forces board and seize Ukranian warship | World | News | Express.co.uk

RUSSIAN special forces attacked and seized three Ukranian warships raising the prospect of full on military conflict between the two warring nations. Tension between Russia and the Ukraine increased after Moscow accused Ukrainian Navy ships of illegally entering its waters in the most serious escalation between the nations since 2014.

Russia blocks passage in Kerch Strait Near Crimea, Deploys Su-25 Jets And Ka-52 Attack Helicopters. – The Aviationist

Moscow has blocked passage through the Kerch Strait, between Crimea and mainland Russia, after three Ukrainian navy ships made what the Russian authorities have called a violation of Russian territorial waters.

Russian Coast Guard Rams Ukrainian Tugboat, Official Denies Ramming is ‘a Tactic’

A video shows the Russian Coast Guard vessel deliberately ramming an unarmed Ukrainian tugboat. Claims that it had violated Russia’s borders don’t hold water.

Russian ship collides with Ukrainian tug boat – BBC News

The footage was posted on social media by the Ukrainian Interior Minister who claims it was filmed from a Russian ship.

Kerch Strait controls access to Ukraine’s eastern ports | World | The Times

The Kerch Strait, nine miles wide, is vital for Ukraine’s shipping. It leads from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov, on the coast of which are Mariupol and Berdyansk, two of its biggest ports. Under a 2003 agreement between Russia and Ukraine, the Kerch Strait and Sea of Azov are shared territorial

On the Azov Sea, a Ukrainian port fears escalation with Russia – YouTube

AFP news agency Published on Nov 26, 2018 Children are helping adults to dig trenches in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol as local residents fear escalating tensions with Russia. On Sunday, Russia fired on and seized three Ukrainian ships. Kiev and its Western allies have since demanded that Moscow release the Ukrainian sailors.

 

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