Russian border guards boats attacked Ukrainian tug and 2 small artillery boats during their passage to Azov Sea through the Kerch strait. Russia’s Don cruiser rammed a tugboat, it is badly damaged, according to the statement issued by Ukrainian Naval Forces.
“According to operational information, small armored artillery boats Berdyansk, Nikopol were hit by enemy fire and got stopped. The Yany Kapu raid tugboat was also forced to stop. The ships were captured by the Russian Special Forces”, – the report reads.
There is also information about two wounded Ukrainian military sailors, the Ukraine’s Navy press office reports.
Earlier, Russian ships opened direct fire at the Ukrainian Navy ship near the Kerch straight.
“On the exit from the 12-mile zone, the Russian Federal Security Service gunboats opened direct fire at the group of the Ukrainian Navy of UAF. Small armored gunboat Berdyansk got damaged. The boat was force stopped. Ukrainian military got wounded. The weapons were deployed for target shooting”, – the report says.
Earlier, the Ukrainian Navy press office reported that while moving out of the Kerch straight, the Ukrainian boats were escorted by Russian ships which threatened to use force.
In the morning of November, 25, the Ukrainian Navy press office informed that RF coast guard ships “performed blatantly aggressive acts against the ships of the Ukrainian Navy” as their Don cruiser rammed the Ukrainian raid tug.
The Ukrainian Navy states that “the operating service of the occupiers’ authority refused to ensure the right to freedom of navigation guaranteed by international arrangements”. Later, Russians banned transition of civil vessels through the Kerch straight.
Mr. Ihor Voronchenko, the Commander of the Ukrainian Naval Forces of the AFU, informed that the crews of the Ukrainian ships awaiting the possibility to pass through the Kerch straight, are on full alert and ready for possible Russian away teams landing. Mr. Voronchenko described the situation near Kerch straight as “hard and tense”.
In its turn, the Ukrainian Navy states that Ukraine’s boats are allowed freedom of navigation through the Kerch straight and the Sea of Azov, therefore they can pass through the Kerch straight at any time on condition of abidance to safety of navigation.
Ukraine applied to the Security Council of the United Nations Organization regarding the attack on the Ukrainian ships near the Kerch straight.
“As assigned by the President of Ukraine petro Poroshenko, we are urgently addressing the SC UNO. The aggressor’s blatant acts can be stopped only with our joint coordinated efforts!” – Mr. Volodymyr Yelchenko, the Ukraine’s ambassador to the UNO, wrote on his Twitter page.