Court jails 12 Ukrainian sailors captured in Kerch Strait

Court jails 12 Ukrainian sailors captured in Kerch Strait

A Russian court has ordered 12 of the 24 Ukrainian sailors who were captured by Russian coast-guard forces during a confrontation at sea off Crimea to be held in custody for two months.

The sailors, including the commander of a small Ukrainian gunboat, will be held under formal arrest in a detention center in Simferopol until January 25, the judge ruled.

The other 12 sailors are expected to appear before the court on November 28, RFE/RL reported.

According to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), on Sunday morning, three ships from the Ukrainian Navy - the Berdyansk, the Nikopol and the Yany Kapu - illegally crossed Russia’s border. They ignored legitimate demands to stop issued by vessels belonging to the FSB Border Service and the Black Sea Fleet and continued to perform dangerous maneuvers. In order to stop the Ukrainian ships, the Russian forces had to use weapons and detain the three vessels. Three Ukrainian military servicemen suffered light wounds and were provided with medical assistance.