UPDATE 4: The Ukrainian Navy updated its version of the events. The fresh report says that the small armoured gunboat Berdyansk and the estuary tug Yani Kapu under control of Russian forces and are being towed while the small armoured gunboat Nikopol has been blocked and is being escorted by Russian forces.
The direction of their movement is unclear.
If the Ukrainian Navy version is confirmed, the warships retreating to Berdyansk, according to the Russian side, are two Gurza-class small armored artillery boats.
UPDATE 3: the Russian Federal Security Service says that some Ukrainian warships are now returning to their base in the Ukrainain port of Berdyansk.
The Federal Security Service added that it has hard evidence confirming that the Ukrainian side had intentionally prepared this provocation in the Black Sea.
The situation with the operation to “seize” three Ukrainian warships reported by the Ukrainian Navy remains unclear.
- Some sources speculate that polite Russian servicemen just adviced Ukrainian sailors that it’s time to return to their base from Russia’s territorial waters.
- Some observers point out that Ukrainian warships returning to Berdyansk are those two Gurza-class small armored artillery boats, which were sent to the area close to the incident by the Ukrainian Navy in the course of the encounter.
UPDATE 2: The Ukrainian Navy confirmed social media speculations that small armoured gunboats Nikopol and Berdyansk and the estuary tug Yani Kapu were captured by the Russian Federal Security Service’s Border Service in waters off Crimea. According to the Ukrainian Navy, 2 of its servicemen were injured and the gunboats were immobilized by fire from Russian forces.
The warships illegally entered Russian waters off Crimea in the morning of November 25. Since then, the Russian side has been attempting to solve the situation peacefully. However, by the evening hostile actions of the Ukrainian side have forced the Federal Security Service’s Border Service in Crimea to employ direct actions to put an end to the violations.
UPDATE 1: According to speculations in social media, the 3 Ukrainian warships were captured with their sailors by the Russian Federal Security Service’s Border Service following a short encounter.
A few moments ago, the Ukrainian Navy claimed that its “naval group” had come under fire from the Russian Federal Security Service’s Border Service in waters off Crimea. According to the report, the small armoured gunboat Berdyansk was damaged and became immobilized. The Ukrainian Navy further alleged that one of its serviceman was injured.
Unconfirmed media and social media reports say that the Berdyansk itself is about to be seized by Russian forces.
ОНОВЛЕНО станом на 20.28Після виходу з 12-мильної зони катери ПС ФСБ РФ відкрили вогонь по корабельній групі…
Earlier on November 25, the small armoured gunboats Nikopol and Berdyansk as well as the estuary tug Yani Kapu illegally entered Russia’s territorial waters in the Black Sea. The formal purpose is that they were allegedly heading to the Ukrainian port of Mariupol in the Azov Sea.
This naval group was intercepted by the Federal Security Service’s Border Service in Crimea and stopped in the area south of the Kerch Strait. Then, Ukraine sent two Gurza-class small armored artillery boats towards the area of the incident. However, they stopped outside Russia’s territorial water.
The situation is developing.