Photo from UNIAN

Psychological pressure is being exerted on Ukrainian Navy sailors captured by the Russian FSB near the Kerch Strait on Nov 25 and then transferred to Moscow's Lefortovo pre-trial detention center.

This is being done to force them into testifying against themselves, Russian lawyer Nikolai Polozov suggested, commenting on the obstacles faced by lawyers of the Ukrainian military as they had been trying to gain access to their clients, reports Krym.Realii.

"The situation is very simple: psychological pressure is being exerted on prisoners of war. They are trying to disorient them, completely cut them off from the outside world as they know nothing about what is happening out there," said Polozov.

According to the lawyer, the FSB “will do everything to ensure that this situation is in place as long as possible” to try to get confessions from the Ukrainian military.

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As UNIAN reported earlier, on the morning of November 25, Russia blocked the passage to the Kerch Strait for the Ukrainian tug boat Yany Kapu and two armored naval boats Berdyansk and Nikopol, which were on aa scheduled re-deployment from the Black Sea port of Odesa to the Azov Sea port of Mariupol.

The Ukraine Navy Command noted that the Russian side had been informed in advance of the intention to re-deploy the vessels in accordance with international standards to ensure the safety of navigation.

The Russian coast guard ship "Don" rammed the Ukrainian tug, damaging the Ukrainian vessel. As the Ukrainian boats were heading back in the Odesa direction after being rejected passage via the Kerch Strait, Russian coast guards opened aimed fire on them.

Read alsoCaptured Ukrainian Navy men have status of "prisoners of war" – Ukrainian prosecutor

All 24 crew on board were captured and later remanded in custody for two months, charged with "illegal border crossing" (the sailors are facing up to six years in prison). Three crewmen were injured in the attack.

The Russian-controlled “court” in the occupied Crimea ruled to remand all 24 POWs in custody, after which they were transferred to Moscow-based Lefortovo and Matrosskaya Silence detention centers.