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