On November 27, Crimean authorities started determining measures of restraint for the 24 Ukrainian servicemen, who had particiapted in the violation of the Russian border and been engaged in an armed clash with Russian coastal guard near the Kerch Strait. So far, court has arrested 12 servicemen for two months. The rest cases will be evaluated on November 28.
The investigation into the Black Sea incident between a group of 3 Ukrainian warships and Russian coastal guards in Russian territorial waters is ongoing.
The Russian Federal Security Service also released a list of weapons and ammunition, which were seized from the arrested Ukrainian warships:
- 30mm gun x 4
- AGS-17 automatic grenade launcher x 4
- 12.7mm DSHK machine gun x 2
- 7.62mm PKT machine gun x 4
- AK-47 automatic riffle x 13
- 9mm pistol PM x 4
- 9mm nonlethal pistol x 1
- flare pistol PS x 1
- 30mm HE fragmentation shell –x 765 [there are 32 more cases with shells – the total number of 30mm munition is unknown]
- Vog-17 grenade x 1975
- Vog grenade x 495
- RGD-5 grenade x 4
- RG42 grenade x 48
- RGD grenade x 20
- UZRGM-2 fuse assembly x 30
- RG-42 fuse assembly x 38
- 30mm rocket signal x 87
- 7.62mm bullet x 9865
- 5.45mm bullet x 11736
- 9mm bullet x 1189
- 12,7mm bullet x 612
- bayonet x 15
- AK-74 magazine x 42
- PM magazine x 4
When the FSB refered to 30mm guns, AGS-17 automatic grenade launchers and PKT machine guns, it meant combat modules installed on two arrested Gurza-class boats of the Ukrainian Navy.
The FSB also released documents seized on the Ukrainian warships. The documents confirm that Ukrainian servicemen had a direct order to carrry out a “covert” passage of the Kerch Strait obviously violating the established legal rulles of passage through the area.
The seized documents confirm the previously released testimonies by arrested Ukrianian servicemen.
This video shows moment when arrested Ukrainian ships were entering the Russian port of Kerch on November 26:
Meanwhile, Russia has started deploying a Bal coastal defense system near the port of Kerch, according to reports and videos appearing from the ground.
The Bal coastal defense missile system employs Kh-35 anti-ship cruise missiles. Every launcher carries 8 containers with missiles, which are capable to strike targets within the range of 130/260 km (depending on the modification). The Kh-35 is equipped with a 145 kg High Explosive Fragmentation warhead. It’s designed to defeat ships with the displacement of up to 5 000 t.
An interesting fact is that the US in fact showed restrain in this very case and limited its reaction to the Black Sea incident to general calls for de-escalation and light anti-Russian accusations.
The United States expresses its deep concern over the incident in the Black Sea that occurred November 25 as Ukrainian vessels attempted to transit through the Kerch Strait. Reports that Russian vessels rammed and fired on the Ukrainian ships, injuring Ukrainian crewmen, before seizing three vessels, represent a dangerous escalation and a violation of international law.
The United States condemns this aggressive Russian action. We call on Russia to return to Ukraine its vessels and detained crew members, and to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, extending to its territorial waters.
We call on both parties to exercise restraint and abide by their international obligations and commitments. We urge Presidents Poroshenko and Putin to engage directly to resolve this situation. In that regard, we reiterate our support for the Normandy Four format.
The United States supports Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, extending to its territorial waters, as well as the right of its vessels to traverse international waters. As stated in our Crimea Declaration, the United States rejects Russia’s attempted annexation of Crimea.
"The 🇺🇸condemns this aggressive Russian action. We call on 🇷🇺to return to 🇺🇦its vessels and detained crew members, and to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity…" https://t.co/eHddqsRC8z pic.twitter.com/awg5CYGTMq
— Kurt Volker (@SpecRepUkraine) November 26, 2018
This statement confirms that the November 25 provocation was not coordinated by the Poroshenko regime with its “Western partners”.
At the same time, the statement of the German mission to the UN is an interesting example of double-think. Berlin mocked the right to self-determination of the Crimean population and denounced the Kerch bridge project, which is obviously contributing to economic and social development in the region.
Additionally, the statement called for “a peaceful and durable solution to the conflict in the east of Ukraine including Crimea”, which is hardly possible while the current political regime exists in Kiev:
- The current Kiev regime will never formally accept the re-unification of Crimea with Russia, which is the establsihed fact;
- The current Kiev regime will never support the real de-escalation in eastern Ukraine because the Kiev power circles headed by Poroshenko will gain no political or financial revenue from the solution of the crisis.
— German Mission to UN (@GermanyUN) November 26, 2018
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Russia-Ukraine Black Sea Military Crisis: On The Brink Of War
- FSB: Detailed Timeline Of Provocation Acts Of Ukrainian Navy
- Ukraine Imposes Martial Law, Calls On Foreign States To Deploy Warships, Observers In Black Sea, Sea Of Azov
- Detained Ukrainian Servicemen Confirm They Provoked Black Sea Incident With Russia Upon Order From Their Command
- Information War Against Russia. Kerch Strait Maritime Incident
- Ukraine Released Intercepted Russian Radio Communications During The Black Sea Incident (Analysis)