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    Several Ukrainian warships crossing Russia’s territorial waters and attempting to pass through the Kerch Strait

    Ukrainian Navy Claims Russia Fired on Its Naval Ships in Kerch Strait

    © Photo : Crimea's FSB Press Service
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    Earlier in the day, the press service of the Russian FSB's Crimean border department detailed that three Ukrainian Navy ships crossed into temporarily off-limits Russian territorial waters, moving from the Black Sea to the Kerch Strait.

    According to the Ukrainian Navy, one of its vessels lost power as Russian ships allegedly attacked the Ukrainian armored artillery vessel.

    Russian naval ships "opened fire on a group of ships of Ukraine's navy," Ukrainian naval officials said in a statement, adding that one crew member had been injured on the damaged ship, AFP reported.

    The Ukrainian Navy said Sunday that Kiev had contacted the border service of the Russian Federal Security Service to notify Russia that Ukrainian naval vessels would be passing through the Kerch Strait, transiting from the port city of Odessa on the Black Sea coast to Mariupol in the Sea of Azov.

    Kiev claimed that the three vessels — two small armored artillery boats and a tugboat — were not in violation of international maritime law.

    WATCH Russian FSB Ships Pursue Ukrainian Vessels in Kerch Strait

    A crisis in the maritime region of the Sea of Azov erupted this year after Ukraine detained a Russian vessel, prompting Moscow to boost controls in the area. Tensions further escalated in October when the Ukrainian parliament passed a draft law authorizing Kiev to expand maritime controls an additional 12 nautical miles off its southern coast, purportedly in an effort to counter smuggling in the Black Sea.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry warned Ukraine against attempts to revise the status of the Sea of Azov in violation of international law, and urged Kiev to refrain from attempting to unilaterally establish new state borders.

    READ MORE: 'Created Out of Thin Air': Kiev, West Invented Azov Sea Issue to Pressure Moscow


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    vessels, conflict, Kerch Strait, Ukraine, Russia, Azov Sea
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