Ukraine backs martial law after confrontation at sea with Russian Federation

Russian should free Ukrainian ships soldiers NATO

Following the November 25 incident in the Black Sea, after the Ukrainian navy vessels were taken to the port of Kerch in Russian-occupied Crimea, Russian media identified one of the detained SBU officers as Lieutenant Andriy Drach, who had been aboard the Nikopol patrol boat when it was attacked by Russia.

Russian forces boarded and captured the ships on Sunday, with Moscow accusing the vessels of illegally entering Russian waters off the coast of Crimea in the Sea of Azov.

Russia's border guard service accused Ukraine of not informing it in advance of the journey, something Kiev denied, and said the Ukrainian ships had been maneuvering dangerously and ignoring its instructions with the aim of stirring up tensions. Russian authorities must return Ukrainian sailors, vessels & refrain from further provocations.

Ukraine's navy said the men had been pressured into making the video statements, which appeared to have been pre-written.

Ukraine's parliament approved a 30-day presidential martial law decree amid a serious row with Russian Federation, diplomatic sources said on Monday.

The confrontation is a unsafe development in the conflict pitting Ukraine against Moscow and Russian-backed rebels in the east of the country.

Sunday's incident has been playing out on Russian and Ukrainian television screens, with dramatic footage of Russian ships chasing down a Ukrainian tugboat that was trying to pass through the Kerch Strait from the Black Sea into the Sea of Azov.

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Several countries have condemned Russia's actions on Monday, and the UN Security Council failed to agree a Russian-proposed agenda, and instead discussed a Ukrainian proposal on the issue.

Russia's deputy envoy Dmitry Polyanskiy blamed Kyiv and its western supporters for the escalation.

The sailors, including the commander of a small Ukrainian gunboat, will be held under formal arrest in a detention center in Simferopol until January 25, the judge ruled.

The tentative solution hashed out by Merkel and Putin, Seibert reported, was "an analysis of the incident with the participation of Russian and Ukrainian border-security experts".

On their side, the Ukrainians say their ships were operating legally, traveling from Odessa to Mariupol, and claim the Russians were briefed on the route to be followed. "We´re all working on it together", Trump told reporters at the White House.

While other USA officials took a strong stand behind Ukraine, President Donald Trump seemed more equivocal. And hopefully they'll get straightened out.

Five of the 10 regions border Russia while two are adjacent to Moldova's breakaway Trans-Dniester region, where Russian troops are stationed.

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Russian forces on Sunday fired at and seized three Ukrainian ships off the coast of Crimea, which Russia illegally annexed in 2014.

"I know those sailors from Nikopol".

Russia's ongoing militarization of Crimea, the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, poses further threats to Ukraine's independence.

"Once again, we see Russian contempt for global norms and Ukrainian sovereignty", British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Twitter, calling for the release of the Ukrainian soldiers and a restoration of movement through the Kerch Strait. The FSB said only three had suffered non-life threatening injuries and were given medical treatment. A newly built Russian bridge opened by Putin himself now spans the strait, which Moscow hopes will solidify its claim to adjoining Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula it forcibly annexed in 2014.

The Kerch Strait is the only route between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

What happened to the naval vessels?

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