Ukrainian armed forces have been placed on a full alert amid situation in the Kerch Strait and the attack on Ukrainian warships.
“Following the decision of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine concerning the implementation of the martial law, Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has ordered to place the AFU units on full alert,” said in a statement of Ministry of Defence of Ukraine.
The National Security and Defense Council (NSDC ) of Ukraine under the chairmanship of President Petro Poroshenko approved the decision to offer the President of Ukraine the introduction of a martial law for a period of 60 days. The NSDC considers it necessary to introduce a special legal regime in Ukraine in order to create conditions for repelling armed aggression and ensuring national security, eliminating threats to independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
During the meeting of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, President Petro Poroshenko emphasized that Ukraine considers the attack of the Russian military on the Ukrainian Navy’s warships in the Kerch Strait as an act of aggression.
“We consider it as an act of aggression against our state and a very serious threat,” the President said.
“Unfortunately, there are no “red lines” for the Russian Federation,” he added.
The Head of State emphasizes that, despite the fact that Ukrainian ships carried out the regular task of moving to the deployment sites in the Sea of Azov, they were attacked by Russian warships using weapons, which led to severe consequences. According to the preliminary information, six Ukrainian sailors were injured, two of them were severely wounded.
According to the Chief of the General Staff of the AFU Viktor Muzhenko, despite the fact that this was a planned and absolutely legal maritime operation, which did not envisage any military actions, Russian warships used weapons against the Ukrainian warships and captured them in the neutral waters of the Black Sea. He also said that after this attack and seizure of the ships, connection with the Ukrainian ships was lost.
“The use of weapons by the Russian Federation, the attack on the Ukrainian ships was unprovoked. It was, as the Chief of the General Staff has already said, a usual operation aimed to move the ships to the deployment sites Mariupol-Berdiansk. They did not have any special weapons, except for the service weapon, they had no special missions,” the President said.
“We have irrefutable evidence that this aggression, this attack on the Ukrainian Navy’s warships was not a mistake, not an accident, but a targeted action, including as regards the use of weapons against Ukrainian sailors, which had severe consequences,” the President stressed.
The President also noted that “in no way were the Ukrainian authorities and the Ukrainian military leadership informed about such a behavior by the Russian armed forces”.