Russia Attacks and Seizes Ukrainian Ships in Black Sea
Three Ukrainian ships were seized by Russia. Two Ukrainian sailors were wounded
Photo from Independent
As 8:28 p.m, Russian Special Forces attacked and seized three Ukrainian vessels in the Black Sea.
Two Ukrainian sailors were wounded in the surprise attack.
“The small armored artillery boats Berdyansk and Nikopol were damaged by Russian fire,” Ukraine’s Navy reported. “The crew of the Yan Kapu tugboat was forced to stop the vessel. All vessels have been seized by the Russian special forces. Two Ukrainian crew members were wounded.”
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called an emergency session of his war cabinet. Meanwhile, Ukraine is calling for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council.
Ukrainian foreign ministry spokeswoman Mariana Betsa said: “Today’s dangerous events in the Azov Sea testify that a new front of Russian aggression is open.
Since 2014 and the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula, Moscow’s military aggression toward Ukraine has been largely confined to the Donbas region, where it’s backed separatists with weapons and soldiers. Today’s provocations represent a new front in the Kremlin’s attempts to control its Western neighbor.
Russian provocations began earlier in the day. It started with a Russian coastal guard ship ramming into the tugboat that was transporting the two artillery boats from Odesa to Mariupol. The Russian Federation blocked access to the Azov Sea altogether and sent two Ka-52 attack helicopters to tail the Ukrainian ships. Finally, it fired on the vessels.
In 2003, long before Russia’s invasion of Crimea, Ukraine and Russia had signed a treaty that defined the Sea of Azov as internal waters for the two countries.