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Ukraine Crisis Media Center: The Russian attack on Azov

Russia attacks in the Azov Sea

Russia has provoked a conflict with Ukraine in the Kerch Strait. In the morning on November 25 a motor boat of the Russian Federation’s coast guard rammed a Ukrainian tugboat (video). In the evening following long-standing blocking of Ukrainian ships Russian vessels opened fire towards them. These actions come as most aggressive in the Azov Sea since the escalation started. UCMC is following the developments. We’ll keep you updated with information from trusted sources. 

Key facts at a glance

At night between November 24 and 25 three Ukrainian vessels – two small armored artillery motor boats “Berdyansk” and “Nikopol” as well as a tow boat “Yany Kapu” left the port of Odesa headed towards the port of Mariupol. On their way the Russian motor boat of the coast guard “Don” rammed the Ukrainian tow boat. Video. Later in the day Ukrainian vessels were fired upon, six marines were wounded. Read more >>>

What we know so far about the captured Ukrainian sailors

The parliamentary voting to introduce martial law in Ukraine’s 10 regions following Russia’s aggression against the Ukrainian navy became subject to a vivid discussion domestically and abroad. At the same time, the urgent matter is the faith of the Ukrainian sailors captured by the Russian military. UCMC has collected the information available to give an insight into their faith and the likely future scenario.  

Prisoner-of-war status. According to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 Ukrainian sailors captured by the Russian Federation on November 25 are considered prisoners of war. According to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, they are 23 persons including two counter-intelligence staff members of Ukraine’s Security Service. Most of them are aged 18 to 27. They are natives of different regions of Ukraine.

Names and surnames. In the morning on November 26 Russian media published the names of the three sailors – contract-based servicemen of Ukraine’s Naval Forces, crew members of “Berdyansk” motorboat. They were said to have allegedly suffered minor wounds, they were taken to the Kerch hospital no.1 and underwent surgery. According to the editor-in-chief of the “” Crimea-based website Bella Demydovych in hospital Ukrainian sailors are being guarded by the Federal Security Service of Russia. In the evening on the same day, Ukrainian media “Info Resist” released names and photos of 22 captured servicemen. Read more >>>

Three Ukrainian Captains

While the world is discussing military, geopolitical and economic consequences of the Russian aggression in proximity to the Azov Sea, 24 Ukrainian sailors from the three vessels seized by the Russian Federation military are staying in captivity. The “court” of the occupational authorities in Crimea “ruled” to hold them in custody until January 25. None of the three captains of the ships pleaded guilty. UCMC collected the information available, here’s what we know so far about them.      

Captain of “Berdyansk” artillery motor boat
He refused to give the testimony that the Russian Federal Security Service required on a video record. As the rights observers say, he “flipped off on chekists”. An excellent officer and a brave person, that’s how the lawyers characterize the “Berdyansk” commander – 31-year-old Roman Mokryak. Read More >>>

For more information or assistance on covering Ukraine as well as suggesting improvements in the activities of UCMC, please, contact Marta Bilas on

The center is located in Ukrainian House (2 Khreshatyk Street), 2rd floor. Hotline +38 050 157 8159, +38 050 157 8423, fax +38 044 593 7407, e-mail

Ukraine Crisis Media Centre was set up in March 2014 to provide the international community with objective information about events in Ukraine and threats to national security, particularly in the military, political, economic, energy and humanitarian spheres. The Centre is providing media support o a 24/7 basis to all those covering events in Ukraine and runs a daily schedule of live press briefings and moderated discussions to provide the world with accurate and up-to-date information about the fast-moving situation in Ukraine. Since inception the Center has evolved into a communications hub with outreach to both internal audiences in Ukraine as well as conducting active outreach to opinion formers and the media outside of Ukraine.


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