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The Russian Federation has released video of the Ukrainian sailors ‘confessing’ to crimes and has sentenced several to two months in prison.
A Russian court has ordered several of the Ukrainian sailors who were captured by Russian coast-guard forces during a confrontation at sea off Crimea to be held in custody for two months, while the UN chief called for restraint from both Moscow and Kyiv and Estonia’s president accused Russia of waging “war in Europe.” The court was holding custody hearings for 12 of the crewmen. A Russian official said nine others would face hearings on November 28, reported RFERL.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was “greatly concerned” about the incident at sea and called on “both parties to exercise maximum restraint and to take steps without delay to contain this incident and reduce tensions,” his spokesman said in a statement, added RFERL.
Russian news outlet Interfax reported the Ukrainians were charged with “illegal border crossing by a group of individuals acting in collusion, or by an organized group, or with the use of or the threat to use violence.”
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned “this aggressive Russian action,” noting Ukraine’s “internationally recognized borders, extending to its territorial waters.”
He declared Moscow and Kyiv should “exercise restraint and abide by their international obligations and commitments” and said the leaders of the two nations should “engage directly to resolve this situation.”