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Russia refusing to return Ukrainian naval ships as tensions MOUNT with U.S., NATO

(National SentinelWar Drums: The Russian government is refusing to turn over three Ukrainian navy ships it seized in the Sea of Azov on Sunday, an action that led Kiev’s government to declare martial law and put its entire military on full combat alert.

Russian navy ships fired on the Ukrainian vessels injuring at least six sailors after claiming they violated sovereign Russian territory.

Moscow is describing all three vessels as “warships,” but one of them is a tugboat and the other two are “artillery” ships that are smaller than a frigate.

The U.S. strongly condemned Russia’s actions. Speaking at the United Nations, Amb. Nikki Haley, said, “We strongly support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, extending to its territorial waters. We express our deep concern over the incident, which represent a dangerous escalation and violation of international law.”

The confrontation also led to an emergency meeting between NATO and Ukrainian officials on Monday, Great Power War reported.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian media has been circulating video that purports to show a Russian warship slamming into a Ukrainian vessel.

Ukrainian officials have decried Moscow’s “warmongering,” while placing all armed forces on full alert.

“We have all irrefutable evidence that this aggression, this attack on the Ukrainian navy’s warships, was not a mistake, not an accident, but a deliberate action,” said President Petro Poroshenko, who issued a decree on Monday imposing martial law for 30 days.


For its part, Moscow is claiming the Ukrainian vessels violated sovereign waters around the Crimean peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014 by force.

“When the Ukrainian side was planning this provocation, they must have calculated the additional benefits they wanted to derive from this situation expecting the U.S. and Europe to blindly support the instigators, as usual,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.

“The Group of Twenty in Buenos Aires is approaching. The Ukrainians also submitted a draft resolution on the militarization of the Sea of Azov at the UN General Assembly more than a week ago, and they must have thought it important to glean facts for this meaningless document which they spread in the UN,” Lavrov added, in reference to a complaint Kiev has filed with the United Nations regarding Russia’s ongoing military buildup in the Sea of Azov and Black Sea, its interference with Ukrainian shipping, and its annexation of Crimea.

On Tuesday, the Kremlin warned that Ukraine’s declaration of martial law could lead to another “flare-up” as tensions have steadily increased since the seizure of Kiev’s ships.

A court Tuesday in the Crimean capital of Simferopol ordered one of the Ukrainian sailors to be kept in jail until Jan. 26.

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2 Comments on Russia refusing to return Ukrainian naval ships as tensions MOUNT with U.S., NATO

  1. WOW, how low has the Russian Navy fallen when they are calling an un-armed TUG BOAT a “war ship” ?? I get that they no longer have ANY aircraft carriers and don’t have anything close to a 5th gen fighter, but desperate times for Putin.

    Maybe give Ukraine back all the Nukes Bill Clinton talked them out of since our agreement with them on the Nuke deal (defend them from a Russian Invasion) is simply a Democrat’s

  2. Show me from Missouri // November 27, 2018 at 8:22 pm // Reply

    If the UN makes a declaration against Russian actions, especially interfering with shipping into the Sea of Azov, the US would be justified in selling the Ukrainians more substantial weapons to defend themselves.
    More substantial sanctions against Russia would also be justified. The Germans entered into a large natural gas pipeline deal with the Russians recently, Nordstream 2, for eleven billion dollars. Trump criticized it since it increases German dependence on Russian natural gas and props up the Russian economy. Trump criticized it since the US is paying for much of NATO’s defense, while the Germans are paying the Russians an enormous amount of money for natural gas. Trump characterized it as “inappropriate”.
    Now the Russians are escalating their war with Ukraine, trying to take over even more.
    Crimea is a prestige project for Putin, so the Russians are investing in it, even though it was an illegal takeover. Probably not reversible but still should not be acceptable to the EU or NATO, or Ukraine.
    Russian is trying to dominate Ukraine and eventually bring it into their economic orbit. Probably backing the separatists wasn’t the right approach, since it makes the rest of Ukraine distrust Putin and Russia and look to other sources of support. Ukraine has substantial resources, probably more resources than almost any other country in Europe, but was held back from development when part of the Soviet Union and still lags behind.
    It needs development of logistics, river transport, rail and shipping on the Azov sea. Russia is attempting to disrupt if not strangle the Ukrainian economy by cutting off transport on the Azov sea.
    Probably besides additional sanctions on Russia, increasing economic and developmental aid for Ukraine’s economy should be the focus in response to the Russian interference through the Kerch strait connecting the Black sea to the Azov sea. That would likely have greater or better effect than additional weapons in Ukraine’s arsenal. With a better economy, likely Ukraine can build and develop its own weaponry, but does need help with the economy, the economy being the main issue to start with since Ukraine was wanting to joint the EU and Putin wanted Ukraine to join the Eurasian Economic Union.

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