Russia-Ukraine Black Sea Military Crisis: On The Brink Of War


On November 25, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) Border Service was forced to open fire on and damage Ukrainian warships, which were carrying out hostile actions and advancing in Russian territorial waters in the Black Sea off Crimea.
After the short close-quarter firefight, two Ukrainian ships were taken towed and one ship escorted by Russian forces to the Russian port of Kerch. The Ukrainian side said that 6 service members had been injured in the incident. The Russian side says that 3 Ukrainian servicemen had been slightly injured. They received medical help and there is no threat to their lives.
The data available from both sides, Ukrainian and Russian, demonstrates that the Ukrainian warships intentionally entered Russian territorial waters and were moving more deeply into them. Such a military action with the to be expected loud political coverage is not possible without a direct order from the Ukrainian top military-political leadership.
From the beginning, the Ukrainian side claimed that it informed the Russian side about the planned displacement of its ships into the Sea of Azov through the Kerch Strait. The Russian side says that there has been no request on this issue.
Even if the Ukrainian side had indeed somehow informed the Russians, it still needed to wait for an answer and permission from the Russian authorities. As the further developments showed, the Ukrainian side had received no answer/permission from the Russian side.
The existence or absence of the Ukrainian request to the Russians is irrelevant. The fact is that the Ukrainian warships violated Russian territorial waters threatening navigation in the area and provoking the Russian side.
For more than 5 hours, the Russian side had been avoiding any action to stop and block warships of the de-facto “unfriendly state” in its territorial waters. Only at about 19:00 local time, the FSB Border Service did employ real measures to put an end to the hostile actions of the warships of the de-facto “unfriendly state” in Russian territorial waters.