Lefortovo / wikimapia

Ukrainian consuls have visited a Ukrainian wounded sailor Vasyl Soroka, one of the Ukrainian servicemen captured by Russia in a November 25 Kerch Strait incident, who was recently transferred to the Moscow-based Lefortovo detention center.

"We have started visiting [capture sailors held in Moscow-based detention centers] from February 1; we're continuing today. The consuls have received permits. They have so far visited Ukrainian prisoner of war Vasyl Soroka, that's on Friday. He is wounded. Today, they'll be visiting two more wounded – Andriy Eyder and Andriy Artemenko," Deputy Head of the Consular Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Oleksandr Khomiak told UNIAN.

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He added that, according to the information received from the diplomats, Soroka did not express any complaints, while his health condition is improving.

"Let's hope their condition will improve," the diplomat added.

Ukrainian consuls have received permits to visit Ukrainian prisoners of war, but not on a daily basis, the report says.

UNIAN memo. 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 a 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 of the plans to re-deploy the vessels in advance in accordance with international standards to ensure the safety of navigation.

The Russian coast guard ship "Don" rammed the Ukrainian tugboat, 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 members on board were captured and later remanded in custody for two months, being charged with "illegal border crossing" (the sailors are facing up to six years in prison). Three crewmen were wounded in the attack.

Russian-controlled "courts" in occupied Crimea ruled that all 24 detainees should be remanded in custody, after which they were transferred to the Moscow-based Lefortovo and Matrosskaya Tishina detention centers. Moscow's Lefortovo district court in the middle of January 2019, ruled to keep the Ukrainian sailors in remand until the end of April 2019.