U.S. Embassy Demands Release of Captive Ukrainian Sailors
U.S. Embassy in Ukraine: Russia should immediately release the sailors, return the Ukrainian ships, and respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine
The United States diplomatic mission called on Russia to release Ukrainian sailors, return the ships it seized, and respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
“Over the past six months, Russia has unjustly held Ukrainian Navy vessels and 24 Ukrainian crew members. Russia should immediately release the sailors, return the Ukrainian ships and respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine wrote.
On Nov. 25, the Russian Federation’s border guard carried out aggressive actions against Ukrainian ships that had been scheduled to transfer from Odesa to Mariupol. A Russian border ship rammed a Ukrainian raiding tug, as a result of which the main engine of the ship, lining, and fencing were damaged and crew members were injured.
The Ukrainian Navy said that they warned Russia about their passage in advance and acted according to international law.
The FSB, the Russian security service, said that the three Ukrainian warships in the Sea of Azov “illegally entered the territorial waters of the Russian Federation.”
In total, three ships were seized and captured and 24 Ukrainian servicemen.
A “pre-trial investigation” of the events for a Russian-controlled court in Simferopol was extended to August.
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