Captured Ukrainian sailors to be transferred to Moscow detention center

Saturday, 01 Dec, 2018

"Russian men aged 16 to 60 have been barred from entering the country", he said at a meeting dedicated to ensuring the country's defense capability in the situation of martial law, which also involved Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko showed Sky News satellite photos that he said showed tanks amassing 18 kilometers, or about 11 miles, from the Russia-Ukraine border.

Ukraine imposed martial law this week, citing fears that Russia was planning a full scale invasion after Russian vessels fired on and captured Ukrainian ships last weekend.

A column of what appeared to be anti-ship missile systems was spotted on a highway headed toward the Crimean city of Kerch on Tuesday, the Russian state-funded television network RT reported. While these ethnic Russians are still Ukrainian citizens and presumably would not be hit by the sanctions, this does reflect the close relationship that these border regions have with Russia.

REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko Deputy Head of Security Service of Ukraine, Oleh Frolov speaks during a news conference on the Black Sea incident, which took place off Russian-annexed Crimea on November 25, in Kiev, Ukraine November 29, 2018.

"These marks, as well as the sentences "We'll get into all reports" and 'Who will say that they will not remove from office now?' are taken from a fragment of other radio communications that were published by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on November 26 between officials of the Russian Navy's operational services and the command of Russian warships that pursued Ukrainian ships".

"And not allow them to carry out the operations that they tried to conduct in 2014", he added, in reference to Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula.

Ukraine has also blamed Kremlin for separatist violence in eastern Ukraine, near the border with Russian Federation.

A North Atlantic Treaty Organisation spokeswoman would not comment directly on Mr Poroshenko's request, but stressed that "since Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has substantially increased its presence in the Black Sea".

It was unclear how it would be applied in the border areas and Poroshenko has suggested it is meant essentially as a preventative measure.

The announcement follows Thursday's decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to scrap his much-anticipated meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires.

Russian Federation has backed separatists in eastern Ukraine in a conflict that has killed more than 10,300 people since April 2014.

Trump, however, told the media on the same day that he would consider canceling his scheduled meeting with Putin due to the ongoing Ukraine-Russia confrontation near the Kerch Strait. A month later, it fomented a pro-Russia separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine in an ongoing conflict that to date has claimed more than 10,000 lives.

Asked about the Turkish offer, Peskov responded that "Moscow is grateful to all those willing to help de-escalate the tensions provoked by the Ukrainian side, but doesn't see any need for mediation efforts".

Ukraine says Russian Federation is deliberately blockading Mariupol and another port, Berdyansk, preventing ships from getting through the Kerch Strait.

But Ukraine and foreign observers said it marked the culmination of a yearslong effort by Moscow to force its authority on the Sea of Azov, the waters of which are shared between the two countries, according to a 2003 agreement. "As for the citizens of Ukraine, there are no restrictions", Tsigikal said.