Ukraine imposes martial law in border areas following Russian aggression on sea

Ukraine's parliament on Monday voted in favour of imposing of martial law in the country's border areas in response to Russia's brazen seizure of three Naval ships belonging to the former soviet territory as it made it's way to the Sea of Azov through the Kerch Strait -- a waterway with strategic
significance that passes under a newly built Russian bridge and connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov.

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko, says the move to introduce martial law became necessary to nolster his country's defenses in the most vulnerable warning of “extremely serious” threat of a land invasion by the Russians.

“Russia has been waging a hybrid war against our country for a fifth year. But with an attack on Ukrainian military boats it moved to a new stage of aggression,” Poroshenko said.

“I have a document of intelligence in my hands ... Here on several pages is a detailed description of all the forces of the enemy located at a distance of literally several dozens of kilometers from our border. Ready at any moment for an immediate invasion of Ukraine,” he added.

RUSSIAN AGGRESSION

On Sunday, Russia’s FSB security service border patrol boats rammed Ukraine's Yana Kapa tug as it sailed from the Black Sea port of Odessa to Mariupol in the Sea of Azov, alongside two other Ukrainian vessels -- Berdyansk and Nikopol gunboats.

Failing to intercept the boats, Ukraine says the Russians blocked off the waterway with a tanker and later said they fired on the vessels before boarding and seizing.

Six of it's crew members were injured in the process Ukraine said.

Meanwhile, Russia scrambled fighter jets and helicopters as the Ukrainian vessels approached a bridge over the Kerch Strait and accuses Ukraine of illegally entering its territorial waters.

GLOBAL RESPONSE

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, both criticised Russia's action in harsh terms, a contrast from the tone of their principal, President Donald Trump.

Pompeo said in a statement 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.”

Haley called Russia’s actions an “outrageous violation of sovereign Ukrainian territory”.

Trump told reporters he did not like what was happening between Russia and Ukraine and was working with European leaders on the situation.

The European Union, Britain, France, Poland, Denmark, and Canada all condemned what they called Russian aggression.


 

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