Russia boosts navy presence in Azov Sea, provocations possible – Ukraine military
Ukrainian military claims the Russian Federation has strengthened its navy and coast guard presence in the Azov Sea.
"Ukrainian intelligence has recorded the increased presence of coast guard ships of the FSB border service and Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Navy in the Azov Sea," the press center of the headquarters of Ukraine's military operations reported on Facebook Monday.
A number of measures are being taken in the area to strengthen the Russian grouping.
"Probably, the main goal of such actions can be symmetrical measures for the detention of the Crimean-registered Nord fishing vessel in the Sea of Azov by the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine," reads the report.
Read alsoPutin might hit on brake or raise stakes dramatically in Donbas - AvakovTaking this into account, the headquarters of Ukraine's military operations warns Ukrainian fishermen in the Sea of Azov about possible provocations by the Russian Federation, which may result in the detention of Ukrainian fishing vessels.
The Ukrainian military also does not rule out the preparation of similar provocations in the Black Sea.
As UNIAN reported earlier, the Russian-flagged and Crimea-registered fishing vessel Nord operated by a crew of 10 was seized by the Ukrainian Border Guard Service in the Sea of Azov on March 25 on charges of infringements on the Ukrainian border crossing rules in relation to the occupied territory. The vessel and crew were brought to the Ukrainian port of Berdyansk.
Read alsoRussia sets up team to "protect" fishermen from "Ukrainian piracy"The Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine announced that the captain of the Nord, who turned to be a citizen of Ukraine, was indicted under Part 2 of Article 332-1 (violation of entry/exit rules into/from temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
On April 8, the Ukrainian Border Guard Service reported an attempt to smuggle the Nord's crew in Russian diplomatic cars through the Hoptivka checkpoint in Ukraine's Kharkiv region. The sailors presented Russian-issued emergency travel documents instead of passports. The border guards drew up a report on the incident and returned them to Ukraine.
On April 11, the captain of the Crimean-registered Nord fishing vessel, Volodymyr Horbenko, was served with a new indictment.