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    The detained Ukrainian ships are delivered to the port of Kerch

    LIVE UPDATES: Russia-Ukraine Tensions After Kerch Strait Incident

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    The situation between the two countries has significantly worsened since the incident with Ukrainian ships illegally crossing the Russian maritime border followed by the arrest of the ships and the crews that was called a provocation committed in violation of international law by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

    Two gunboats and a tugboat crossed the Russian maritime border on 25 November sailing toward the Kerch Strait, an entrance to the Sea of Azov, where the ships were seized by Russia due to the lack of a reply to a lawful demand to stop.

    Ukraine is on the brink of war with Russia after the recent incident in the Kerch Strait, according to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Prior to that, the Ukrainian parliament approved the Poroshenko’s decree, proposing to implement martial law in some regions of the country along the border with Russia as well as along the coast of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov for 30 days in the wake of the Kerch Strait incident.

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    • 02:12
      Several Ukrainian warships crossing Russia’s territorial waters and attempting to pass through the Kerch Strait.

      Some West States Possibly Knew of Kerch Strait Provocation in Advance – Moscow

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Western partners could have had prior knowledge of Ukraine’s Kerch Strait provocation or even took part in its preparation, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Wednesday.
      Read more
    • 22:07

      Mattis Blames Russia for Situation in Kerch Strait: Moscow Cannot Be Counted on to Keep Its Word

    • 21:41

      Russia's Rights Ombudsperson Denies Captured Ukrainian Sailors Confessed Under Duress

      'There is nothing to confirm [Voronchenko’s] remark. The investigation has so far been confined to questioning … They had an opportunity to tell the court about any pressure on them. But I don’t know of anyone who did', Tatiana Moskalkova told Sputnik.

      The comment refers to Russia’s FSB security service's statement by one of the officers released on Tuesday who admitted he was aware of the 'provocative nature' of manoeuvres in Russian territorial waters.

      The Ukrainian Navy Commander Ihor Voronchenko, in his turn, claimed that the seamen had been forced to tell lies.

    • 21:38

      Trump 'Deeply Concerned' Over Situation in Kerch Strait, Accuses Russia of Armed seizure of Ukrainian Ships

      In the phone call with Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, US President Donald Trump has expressed deep concern over the situation in the Kerch Strait, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders stated Wednesday. 

      As she noted, Trump accused Russia of detainment of Ukraine's vessels and crew members.

    • 19:02

      'Everything is at Stake': Ukrainian Envoy Urges West to 'Put Putin in His Place'

      Several Ukrainian warships crossing Russia’s territorial waters and attempting to pass through the Kerch Strait

      'Everything is at Stake': Ukrainian Envoy Urges West to 'Put Putin in His Place'

      Sunday’s incident in the Kerch Strait appears to have been a provocation prepared in advance, a pretext used by Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko to introduce martial law to create obstacles for his rivals from the opposition ahead of upcoming elections, President Vladimir Putin said.
      Read more
    • 18:56

      Crimea Court Orders Arrest of 2nd Ukraine Security Service Officer in Kerch Strait Case

      The district court of the Crimean city of Simferopol on Wednesday ordered the arrest of a second Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) officer, Andriy Drach, who was on board one of the Ukrainian vessels that were detained in the Kerch Strait after crossing Russia's maritime border.

      In total, 24 Ukrainian servicemen, including two SBU officers, have been detained by the Russian authorities. Earlier in the day, the prosecution asked the court to issue an arrest warrant for Drach until January 25, 2019, accusing him of illegally crossing the Russian border. Vasyl Soroka, Drach’s fellow SBU officer, was arrested earlier on Wednesday.

      During the hearing, Drach said that he had not intended to break the Russian law on illegal border crossing and only learned about the violation via radio exchange after the vessel entered the Russian waters.

    • 17:21

      Poroshenko Wants NATO to Send Warships to Black Sea After Kerch Strait Incident

      Two Norwegian sailors onboard the Norwegian support vessel Valkyrien

      Poroshenko Wants NATO to Send Warships to Black Sea After Kerch Strait Incident

      DONETSK (Sputnik) - NATO countries could send several warships to the Black Sea to support Ukraine after the incident in the Kerch Strait near Crimea, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told the NBC News broadcaster on Wednesday.
      Read more
    • 16:48

      Documents Seized During Search of Ukrainian Ships Prove It is Provocation to Spark Scandal - Lavrov

      Ukrainian officers had orders to secretly infiltrate the Sea of Azov, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated.

      'We drew the attention of our colleagues to the documents that were made public after the Russian border guards inspected the detained ships. The documents indicate that this was a pre-planned provocation aimed at creating a scandal to achieve geopolitical goals and with a view to solving internal problems of Kiev's regime', Lavrov said.

    • 17:02

      Ex-NATO Commander Calls on Trump to 'Stand Up' to Putin

      Russian President Vladimir Putin (File Photo).

      Ex-NATO Commander Calls on Trump to 'Stand Up' to Putin Over Kerch Strait Rift

      Russia and Ukraine are in the middle of a diplomatic impasse after three Ukrainian warships illegally sailed into Russia’s territorial waters and ignored legal demands to leave the area, which Moscow denounced as a provocation and violation of international law.
      Read more
    • 16:32

      Crimea Court Arrests Commander of Ukrainian Gunboat Nikopol Amid Kerch Strait Incident

    • 15:42

      Black Sea Fleet Vessel Guarding Kerch Bridge Enters Port - Source

      'Minesweeper Vice Admiral Zakharyin was in the area of the Crimean Bridge, guarding it, even before the incident with the Ukrainian ships. After a sharp deterioration of the weather in the area, the minesweeper entered the port of Kerch, waiting out the bad weather in the nearest port', the source said.

    • 15:01

      Standoff in Kerch Strait is Staged Provocations, Aimed to Impose Martial Law in Ukraine - Putin

      Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, due to low ratings, needed to create obstacles for his rivals from the opposition.

      "There are clear signs of a provocation prepared in advance in order to use this as a pretext to introduce martial law in the country. This has nothing to do with any attempts to improve the Russian-Ukrainian relationship. This is an attempt to rise stakes," Putin said at Russia Calling Investment Forum.

      Russian President Vladimir Putin after the flower-laying ceremony at the Monument to Soldiers of the Russian Expeditionary Force Who Fought in France in WWI.

      Putin: Standoff Over Kerch Provocation, Aimed to Impose Martial Law in Ukraine

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The incident in the Kerch Strait appears to have been a provocation prepared in advance, a pretext to introduce martial law in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
      Read more
    • 14:58

      Ukrainian Vessels Did Not Follow Rules for Passage Into Sea of Azov - Putin

      These waters have always been Russia's, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated.

      'And how should the border guards act? Military vessels invaded Russian territorial waters and did not respond. It was unclear what they are going to do. How should they act? If they [the border guards] acted differently, they all had to be brought to justice. They fulfilled their military duty and did it very well. In fact, they performed their legitimate functions to protect the territorial integrity of the Russia. I think your country would have acted in exactly the same way, this is an absolutely obvious thing', Putin said at a forum.

      Putin stressed that Ukrainian sailors had been even offered a maritime pilot, however, no response was received following this.

      'I draw your attention to the fact that they entered our territorial waters that were Russian territorial waters even before the reunification of Crimea with Russia ... The began to move straight to this bridge without responding to the requests of our border guards. They did not react to the offers to drop anchor. They did not respond to the offer to take a maritime pilot even after crossing our state border - they were silent, they did not respond at all', the president added.

    • 14:56

      Introduction of Martial Law in Ukraine Was Exaggerated Response - Putin

      Putin pointed out that the Kerch Strait situation was a minor border incident, especially compared with the conflict in Ukraine's southeast or Crimea's decision to rejoin Russia in 2014.

      'And no martial law was introduced, but now there's a minor incident in the Black Sea and they introduced martial law in the country', Putin said.

       

    • 12:34

      Estonia Summons Russian Envoy Over Moscow-Kiev Standoff in Kerch Strait

      Tallinn view. (File)

      Estonia Summons Russian Envoy Over Moscow-Kiev Standoff in Kerch Strait

      A diplomatic clash between Kiev and Moscow erupted recently after three Ukrainian warships illegally crossed the maritime border with Russia. Moscow has described the Ukrainian vessels' actions as a provocation committed in violation of international law.
      Read more
    • 12:58

      Number of Russians Denied Entry Into Ukraine From Belarus Rises to 85

      ‘Over the past day, another 38 Russian citizens have been returned [to the Minsk airport] on “Kiev-Minsk” flights ... From Monday until 10 a.m. [07.00 GMT] today, 85 Russian citizens have already been returned [to Minsk]’, Anton Bychkovsky, spokesman for the State Customs Committee, said.

    • 12:00

      France, Germany Reportedly Against New Sanctions on Russia

      German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron meet at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany May 15, 2017

      France, Germany Reportedly Against New Sanctions on Russia Over Kerch Strait Row

      Austria has mulled over the possibility of new sanctions against Russia due to the detention of three Ukrainian Navy vessels that sailed toward the Kerch Strait in what Moscow has described as an unequivocal provocation committed in violation of international law.
      Read more
    • 12:54

      Conceptually the Situation in Kerch is Absolutely Obvious' - Kremlin Spokesman

      Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov, said that he was unaware of the conditions under which Russia would return the seized warships and sailors to Ukraine after the incident in the Kerch Strait.

      'I cannot answer your question, I do not know about any decisions that have been taken on this topic. Contact out border guards for details', he stressed.

      At the same time, he stressed that 'the conceptual situation is absolutely obvious'.

    • 12:00

      Russia Puts One More S-400 Battalion Into Service in Crimea

      The S-400 missile defence system.

      Russia Puts One More S-400 Battalion Into Service in Crimea Amid Kerch Row

      ROSTOV-ON-DON (Sputnik) - One more battalion of Russia's S-400 Triumph air defence missile systems will be put into active service in Crimea before the end of 2018, the Russian Southern Military District spokesman, Col. Vadim Astafyev, told reporters.
      Read more
    • 12:37

      Poroshenko Signs Decree to Introduce Martial Law in Ukraine - Spokesman

      'President Poroshenko signed a law to approve the decree "on the introduction of martial law in Ukraine"', presidential spokesman Svyatoslav Tsegolko wrote on Twitter.

      Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, examines the construction of fortifications in Donetsk region, Ukraine (File)

      Poroshenko Signs Decree to Introduce Martial Law in Ukraine

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree to impose martial law in a number of Ukrainian regions, presidential spokesman Svyatoslav Tsegolko said Wednesday.
      Read more
    • 11:49

      US Spy Plane Reportedly Spotted Over Kerch Strait After Ukrainian Provocation

      US Navy P-8 Poseidon aircraft

      US Spy Plane Reportedly Spotted Over Kerch Strait After Ukrainian Provocation

      Foreign reconnaissance aircraft and UAV activity has increased recently near Russia's borders, especially in the region of the Crimea, and Krasnodar Territory.
      Read more
    • 11:48

      Ukraine on Brink of War Against Russia

      Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko speaks during a news conference in Kiev, Ukraine (File)

      Ukraine on Brink of War Against Russia After Kerch Strait Incident – President

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Ukraine is on the brink of war against Russia after the recent incident in the Kerch Strait, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said.
      Read more
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    LIVE UPDATES: Russia-Ukraine Tensions After Kerch Strait Incident
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