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Russia: FSB release video of returned Ukraine naval vessels ‘in good condition’ 01:18

Russia: FSB release video of returned Ukraine naval vessels ‘in good condition’

Russian Federation, Undisclosed location, Russia
November 21, 2019 at 18:03 GMT +00:00 · Published

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) released footage on Thursday showing the three Ukrainian naval vessels it seized last November in the Kerch Strait.

FSB said in a statement that the video, which appears to be partly filmed inside one of the vessels, proves that the ships are “in good condition”, after Ukraine’s navy commander Igor Voronchenko accused Russia of tampering with the boats.

The footage released “clearly shows that the boats and the tugboat were handed over to the Ukrainian side in good condition and with good plumbing. If during the transition from the coast of Crimea to Ochakov the Ukrainian side managed to ‘ditch’ the ships and bring the plumbing to poor condition – this is a problem for the Ukrainian side itself,” the statement said.

Russia handed over the vessels to Ukraine on Monday, and the three ships arrived at the Ukrainian port of Ochakov two days later.

The vessels, gunboats Nikopol and Berdyansk, in addition to tugboat Yana Kapu were seized by FSB in the Kerch Strait on November 25, 2018 for violating the Russian border.

Twenty-four seamen were taken from onboard and were arrested on charges of frontier infringement.

After the incident the Ukrainian side claimed that its ships had permission to cross the Kerch Strait based on international law.

In summer 2019 Russia offered to transfer the arrested seamen to Ukraine provided they gave guarantees against their participation in lawsuits, while also guaranteeing the safe keeping of the Ukrainian vessels. The seamen were subsequently returned to Ukraine as part of a prisoner exchange.

Russia: FSB release video of returned Ukraine naval vessels ‘in good condition’ 01:18
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Description

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) released footage on Thursday showing the three Ukrainian naval vessels it seized last November in the Kerch Strait.

FSB said in a statement that the video, which appears to be partly filmed inside one of the vessels, proves that the ships are “in good condition”, after Ukraine’s navy commander Igor Voronchenko accused Russia of tampering with the boats.

The footage released “clearly shows that the boats and the tugboat were handed over to the Ukrainian side in good condition and with good plumbing. If during the transition from the coast of Crimea to Ochakov the Ukrainian side managed to ‘ditch’ the ships and bring the plumbing to poor condition – this is a problem for the Ukrainian side itself,” the statement said.

Russia handed over the vessels to Ukraine on Monday, and the three ships arrived at the Ukrainian port of Ochakov two days later.

The vessels, gunboats Nikopol and Berdyansk, in addition to tugboat Yana Kapu were seized by FSB in the Kerch Strait on November 25, 2018 for violating the Russian border.

Twenty-four seamen were taken from onboard and were arrested on charges of frontier infringement.

After the incident the Ukrainian side claimed that its ships had permission to cross the Kerch Strait based on international law.

In summer 2019 Russia offered to transfer the arrested seamen to Ukraine provided they gave guarantees against their participation in lawsuits, while also guaranteeing the safe keeping of the Ukrainian vessels. The seamen were subsequently returned to Ukraine as part of a prisoner exchange.

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