Russia releases filmed ‘confessions’ of captured Ukrainian sailors as picture emerges of cannon hole on Kiev navy ship seized by Putin’s forces during Black Sea clash

Tuesday, November 27, 2018
By Paul Martin

Ukraine’s parliament last night voted in favour of the introduction of martial law
Comes after Russian forces fired on, boarded and captured three of Kiev ships
Two countries facing their most dangerous crisis in years after clash off Crimea
Vladimir Putin has expressed ‘serious concern’ over Ukraine’s marshal law plan
Russian has released footage of captured sailors making apparent ‘confessions’
EU will next month consider further sanctions against Russia, Austrian foreign minister has revealed

27 November 2018

Russia has released filmed ‘confessions’ of three Ukrainian sailors captured after their ships were fired on by Vladimir Putin’s forces in the Black Sea.

The servicemen appear to read from scripts in the FSB secret service footage and admit straying in to Russian waters despite repeated warnings to leave.

It comes as a picture emerged apparently showing a cannon hole in one of the Ukrainian ships targeted by a Russian coastguard vessel on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin has said he is ‘seriously concerned’ about Ukraine’s decision to introduce martial law.

The Russian president warned Ukraine against any ‘reckless acts’ in the wake of Sunday’s confrontation, which saw Russian forces fire on, board and capture three vessels off the coast of Crimea.

In footage showing the captured sailors, one says: ‘On the way to Mariupol via Kerch Strait, we got into Russian waters. We were warned by Russia’s border control that we were violating Russian legislation. Multiple times we were told to leave Russia’s waters.’

Another stated: ‘After crossing Russia’s border, I could visually observe vessels of Russia’s border control. I intentionally ignored requests transmitted on radio. I understood that the activities of the Ukrainian ships in Kerch Strait were provocative

‘I was executing an order [to do so].’

A third says: ‘We were contacted by Russian ships. We had been told to stop or they would open fire. The commander made decision to stop the boat. We were taken off the boat, that was it.’

Russia – widely condemned by the West – was accused today of staging confessions by the sailors.

This afternoon, a Crimean court ordered three of the captured men to be held in custody for the next two months on accusations of crossing into Russian territory illegally. Several others of the 24 Ukrainian sailors held by Russia were expected to appear before the court later on Tuesday.

One Ukrainian marine is reported to have lost his fingers in the incident. Another suffered a serious hip wound and had serious blood loss.

Meanwhile, the EU will consider hitting Russian with further sanctions after Vladimir Putin’s forces seized three Ukrainian ships.

Austria’s foreign minister Karin Kneissl said Sunday’s Black Sea clash would be reviewed before an EU summit in December.

Her German counterpart Heiko Maas said the dangerous escalation in tensions showed that Russia’s ‘annexation of Crimea… is also a problem for the security of us all in Europe’.

Vladimir Putin (pictured yesterday) says he is ‘seriously concerned’ about Ukraine’s martial law decision after Russian forces captured three of Kiev’s ships.

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