The Context to Understand the Russian-Ukrainian Naval Clash at Kerch Strait

Monday, November 26, 2018
By Paul Martin

Ukrainian Navy was allowed to navigate the strait in the summer when it made the request in advance but this time it attempted force passage without coordinating with the Russians

Rostislav Ishchenko

Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard at Stalker Zone.

This article was written even before the crisis reached its crescendo and the Russian navy and border guards used force.

When in the summer two ships of the Naval Forces of Ukraine passed through the Kerch Strait, Kiev tried to convince everyone that a “heroic breakthrough” took place. However, it quickly became clear that the “heroes”, in full accordance with the Russian demands and rules, gave notice about their passage in advance, requested permission and a maritime pilot, and in general behaved exclusively precautionary.

Back then the “victory” didn’t happen. But this doesn’t mean that the idea had been refused. And so in November the Naval Forces of Ukraine indeed went for a real breakthrough.

What is the idea behind the Ukrainian provocations?

Firstly, Kiev desires to create a precedent of the free, without obtaining Russian permission, passage of its warships through the Kerch Strait, which would confirm the allegedly existing rights of Ukraine for these waters, and at the same time it would confirm its claims to Crimea. After all, Ukraine can have the right to freely navigate through the strait only if Crimea belongs to it.

Secondly, Kiev means that Russia can counter the passage of its ships. In this option an armed conflict is desirable for Kiev. In such a case Ukraine can appeal to the world community and point to “Russian aggression”, which its ships and sailors became the “innocent victims” of.

Why does Kiev need to do this?

The Rest…HERE

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