A video of the engagement between one of the Ukrainian naval vessels violating Russia's maritime border and a Russian border guard vessel has surfaced on the Internet. In the video, the crew of the Russian ship directs it on a collision course in a bid to stop the Ukrainian vessel, which was not responding to demands to change its course and stop its "dangerous manoeuvres."
A military expert and captain, Vasily Dandykin, told Russia's Zvezda TV channel that the maneuver by the Russian vessel was totally legitimate, citing a similar case in 1988, when the USS Yorktown and USS Caron violated the USSR's maritime border in the Black Sea.
"There are a number of means to stop such provocative actions. [The ship's crew] repeated the case, when the [Russian border guard vessel] 'Bezzavetnyy' under command of Vladimir Bogdashin, rammed USS Yorktown. [Captain's] actions were later approved by the Soviet government. The captain acted in strict accordance with the regulations," Dandykin said.
On 25 November, a trio of Ukrainian ships crossed into the temporarily off-limits Russian territorial waters near the Kerch Strait. They were forcibly stopped by Russian border guards after their crews failed to respond to demands to leave the area. They were later escorted to the port of Kerch. Moscow has called the incident an "unequivocal provocation" organized by Kiev.