ISLAMABAD, NOV 28 (DNA) – Ambassador of Ukraine to Pakistan Volodymyr Lakomov said on Wednesday that Russia has crossed all limits and international law by seizing the Ukrainian navy ships Berdyansk, Nikopol and the tug boat Yana Kapu, as well as wounding and capturing of members of their crew.
Addressing a hurriedly called press conference at the embassy the Ukraine ambassador further said situation worsened dramatically on November 25, 2018, due to the deliberate provocation and aggressive behavior of the Russian Federation. The Russian armed forces made an attack and seized navy ships.
He said for the first time Russian military officially ordered to open fire at Ukrainian ships to target Ukrainians which, was against basic rules and obligations of international law, including, conventions on maritime transportation.
“We have all irrefutable evidence that this this attack on the Ukrainian Navy’s warships was not a mistake, not an accident, but a deliberate subversive action, including the use of weapons against Ukrainian sailors’, he added.
The ambassador said, Ukrainian seamen suffered casualties, 6 were wounded, 2 of them gravely and 1 was in critical condition.
Further aggravation by the Russians of the security situation in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov cannot be ruled out.
Ukraine expects more clear qualifications of this act of aggression and decisive actions against Russian aggressor, including increased international political pressure on Moscow aimed at de-escalation of the security situation on the sea and unblocking the free crossing of the Kerch-Yenikale canal by the Ukrainian military ships, imposition of new sanctions, the ambassador added.
He said Ukraine was still ready to settle the situation in political and diplomatic way, but at the same time was also ready to use all the forces for self-defense.=DNA
Russian maritime aggression: chronicle of events
November 23, 2018 the Ukrainian Navy boat group(small armored artillery boats „Nikopol”, „Berdyansk” and inshore tugboat „YaniKapu”) started planned transit from the naval deployment – port of Odessa to the port of Mariupol. Ukrainian Navy boats were carrying regular armament without any specific means on board. The route and procedure were the same as of September, 2018 “Donetsk” and “Korets” vessels transit.
November 24, 2018 during the naval marchUkrainian commanderreceived Russian authorities notice concerning the closing of navigation in the Kerch Strait area. International Centre for Navigation Control (Spain) did not confirm this notification.
November 25, 2018 commander of the Ukrainian Navy boat group requested twice the maritime control officer from Kerch port concerning the passage through Kerch Strait. He did not receive the answer. Later the maritime control officer from Kerch port directed the Ukrainian Navy boat group to the so-called area of waiting. It was stated that in some time Ukrainian vessels would be informed on the Kerch Strait passage procedure.
Approximately at 8:30-9:00 a.m. Russian coastguard ship made a ram attack against inshore tugboat „YaniKapu” and damaged it. Besides, Russian vessels blocked Ukrainian boat group to prevent them to render assistance to a damaged vessel.
All the time during a provocation against Ukrainian Navy boats, Russian vessels were trying to provoke Ukrainian seamen to open fire. Moreover, by 01:00-02:00 p.m. Russia used helicopters to patrol and convoy Ukrainian vessels.
From 1:40 p.m. Russia has physically blocked the passagebeneath so-called „Kerch bridge” having located there a tanker and later a cargo ship.
After 7 p.m. due to the impossibility to pass the Strait, Ukrainian Navy ships headed back to exit a Kerch Strait. They were immediately followed by a group of 8-10 FSB Coast Guard and Russian Black Sea fleet vessels.
Approximately at 20:25 after the exit of Ukraine’s Navy boat group from 12 mile zone Russia’s Cost Guard boats opened fire on defeat. “Berdyansk” and “Nikopol” are damaged and lost the course. After that Ukrainian vesselswere forced to stop and seized by FSB special forces (20:35-20:50). 6 Ukrainian military seamen are wounded. Also 1 boat of FSB Coast Guard damaged.
Ukraine has 100 percent evidence that Russian aggressive actions were planned and authorized by the top Russian military leadership. In particular, the Russian military videos in the YouTube testifies that a ram of the Ukrainian tugboat “YanniKapu” was purposeful, and actions of the captain of the Russian patrol ship were directed on harm to the Ukrainian vessel and crew.
Aggressive actions of Russian military authorities completely correspond with the definition of aggression determined by the UN General Assembly Resolution 3314.