19:05 GMT19 January 2021
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    Kerch Strait Row (59)

    DZHANKOY, Crimea (Sputnik) - The fourth battalion of Russia's S-400 Triumph air defence missile systems has been put into active service in Crimea near the border with Ukraine, Russian Black Sea Fleet Information Department Head Alexey Rulev said.

    'Today, in Dzhankoy, units of the S-400 Triumph air defence missile system … were put into active service to ensure air defence of Crimea', Rulev told reporters.

    The move comes amid an escalation of tensions between Ukraine and Russia after the incident, involving Ukrainian vessels illegally crossing the Russian border at Kerch Strait. 

    Three Ukrainian ships have provoked an international scandal after they illegally crossed the Russian maritime border and navigated toward the Kerch Strait, the entrance to the Sea of Azov. The vessels were seized by Russia after failing to respond to a demand to stop, with the crews arrested.

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

    As a response to the incident, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree officially declaring martial law in select regions of Ukraine that lie on the Russian border as well as the coasts of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov for 30 days.

    Earlier in September, a law enforcement source reported that the fourth battalion of S-400s would be deployed to Crimea near the town of Dzhankoy while the Russian Black Sea Fleet said in a statement that the third battalion of S-400s was put into active service in the Crimean city of Yevpatoria.

    Kerch Strait Row (59)


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