The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation promised to provide access for Ukrainian consuls to Ukrainian sailors captured near the Kerch Strait.

“Finally! 10 days after the capture of our vessels, the Russian Foreign Ministry officially announced that the Ukrainian sailors are in Moscow, and promised to allow access to them for our consuls. We are doing everything to get the consuls to see our guys as soon as possible!” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin wrote on Twitter.  

UNIAN memo. As UNIAN reported earlier, on the morning of November 25, Russia blocked the passage to the Kerch Strait for the Ukrainian tugboat 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.

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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.

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.