Image by Ceriy, based on map by Yarl.PL
Russia has opened fire on Ukrainian ships transiting the Kerch Strait for Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov. There are casualties. Russia has reportedly captured 3 Ukrainian naval vessels.
Two sailors have been wounded after two small armoured artillery boats were hit in the strikes, the Ukrainian navy said. A statement from Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK said Russian special forces had captured three ships in an “act of aggression”. Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko has called an emergency session of his war cabinet in response to the incident, reported Sky News.
“Today’s dangerous events in the Azov Sea testify that a new front of [Russian] aggression is open,” Ukrainian foreign ministry spokeswoman Mariana Betsa said. “Ukraine [is] calling now for [an] emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council.”
Russia responded with a narrative of its own.
“Today, Ukrainian warships illegally crossed Russia’s border and blatantly violated norms of international law. I am sure Western patrons of the Kiev regime are behind this provocation – it doesn’t look a mere coincidence that European and American politicians have been so concerned over the situation in the Sea of Azov in the recent months. Ukraine, as a country stripped of sovereignty and being under external governance, is an instrument for whipping up international tensions,” wrote the head of the Russian-controlled Crimean Republic on his Facebook account, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
“It will be Ukraine’s interests to be impacted by such actions, as it was after the seizure of the Nord ship’s crew,” he added.