Why Ukraine Challenged Russia at the Kerch Strait

MIN READNov 26, 2018 | 21:40 GMT

Cargo ships pass under a bridge over the Kerch Strait, which joins the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea. Ukraine challenged Russia's claim that the area is now Russian territorial waters after the seizure of Crimea.


The Russian-Ukrainian dispute over maritime access through the Kerch Strait escalated on Nov. 25 when paramilitary forces from the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) disabled, boarded and captured two small Ukrainian naval vessels and a tugboat attempting to pass through the strait. Six of the 24 Ukrainian crew members detained by Russia were injured in the forced boarding. The strait, positioned at the eastern end of Crimea, connects the Sea of Azov with the Black Sea. The Ukrainian government in Kiev immediately denounced the Russian actions and accused Moscow of military aggression. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko also declared that a state of martial law would begin Nov. 28 and last for 30 days (but could be subsequently extended). Ukraine and Russia requested an urgent meeting of the U.N. Security Council....

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