Russian special troops are preparing for storm Ukrainian naval vessels.
At the moment, it is reported that Russian special forces have already arrived on helicopters that equipped with night vision systems in the area of the Kerch bridge. Several Mi-8 transport helicopters with special troops on a board landed near the village of Zavetnoe.
A local source reported that the Russian side is preparing a special operation to seize the Ukrainian warships, which are located in the Kerch area under the auspices of the National Guard or Rosgvardia and the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation.
It is expected that the storm may begin early in the morning and the reason for this will be a court decision in connection with the “crossed” the Russian marine border by Ukrainian sailors.
According to the current information, Russia sends combat aircraft and Ka-52 attack helicopters at the point where are located Ukrainian Navy vessels.
Russia also closed Kerch strait with a “grounded” tanker at the bridge from Azov Sea side. The Interfax news agency later reported that Russia has since closed the passage to civilian traffic, citing a local port authority, due to heightened security concerns.
Russia and Ukraine, whose relations remain acutely strained after Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and its backing for a pro-Russian insurgency in eastern Ukraine, have accused each other of harassing each other’s shipping in the area.
“Russian coast guard vessels (…) carried out openly aggressive actions against Ukrainian navy ships” during the transit, the Ukrainian navy statement said. It said a Russian coast guard ship damaged the tugboat’s engine, hull, side railing and a lifeboat,” said in Ukrainian Navy statement.
Also added that Russia had been informed in advance about the planned transit.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine says military provocations of Russia in Black and Azov Seas cross the red line – Statement
Ships of the Russian Federation have unlawfully used force in relation to ships of the Ukrainian Navy in violation of free navigation.
Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry stresses it will take all the necessary measures of diplomatic and international legal response. “We immediately inform partners about Russia’s aggressive actions in the Azov Sea. Such actions pose a threat to the security of all states of the Black Sea region, and therefore require a clear response from the international community”, – statement stressed.
Russian news agencies reported that Russia’s FSB security service had accused Ukraine of not informing it in advance of the journey, something Kyiv denied and had said the Ukrainian ships had been maneuvering dangerously with the aim of stirring up tensions.