Ukraine says Russian jet fired missiles during clash at sea

Ukrainian navy accuses Russia of seizing three ships after allegedly firing on them near Crimea

Ukrainian navy accuses Russia of seizing three ships after allegedly firing on them near Crimea

Sunday's incident has sparked worldwide condemnation over Russia's use of force.

Russia's act of aggression and seizure of three Ukrainian vessels not only outlines Russian contempt for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, but also its disregard for the global Rules-based International System. The ships had spent tense hours manoeuvring until the Russians opened fire and seized the Ukrainian vessels and crew.

At the United Nations and in statements issued late on November 26, Western leaders condemned what they described as Russia's "outrageous" violation of Ukraine's sovereignty as well as worldwide maritime treaties, and called on Moscow to immediately release the detained sailors.

The damage on one of three Ukrainian ships is seen after it had been seized, November 25, 2018, in Kerch, Crimea. "In August, the United States condemned Russia's harassment of worldwide shipping in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait", she continued.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation on Tuesday emphasized its "full support to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity", noting there is no justification for Russia's use of military force against Ukrainian ships. "It is introduced with the sole objective of boosting Ukraine's defence in the light of a growing aggression from Russian Federation".

"We consider it as an act of aggression against our state and a very serious threat", Poroshenko said.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko asked legislators in Kiev to institute martial law, something the country has not done even during the worst of the fighting in the east that killed about 10,000 people. The Russian government has accused Poroshenko of somehow orchestrating the entire incident in order to postpone the election.

Kiev has accused Moscow of blocking access for Ukrainian ships though the strait, the only way in and out of the Sea of Azov to the Black Sea.

The number of Russian units deployed along the Ukraine-Russian border has "grown dramatically" while the number of Russian tanks has tripled, Poroshenko said, citing intelligence reports but giving no precise timescale for the buildup.

Ukrainian navy accuses Russia of seizing three ships after allegedly firing on them near Crimea

The United Nations Security Council met in an emergency session on the crisis on Monday, where USA envoy Nikki Haley called the seizure of the ships an "outrageous violation of sovereign Ukrainian territory" and slammed "yet another reckless Russian escalation".

The incident showed "the arrogant and open participation of regular units of Russian troops", he said in a television address to the nation, disparaging Moscow´s insistence that its forces were not directly involved in Ukraine.

Western nations have rallied behind Ukraine after Russia fired on Ukrainian ships and seized 23 sailors in the Black Sea off the coast of the Russian-controlled Crimean Peninsula.

A Russian fighter-bomber fired two missiles at Ukrainian ships during Sunday's naval clash, causing serious injuries to an officer aboard one of the vessels, Ukraine's security services said Tuesday.

The Kremlin released a statement after the call.

The United States and EU have already imposed sanctions on Russian Federation over the conflict and on Monday European capitals rallied behind Kiev. It said the Kerch Strait was blocked by a tanker and that Russian military aircraft were flying over the area.

Russian state media has reported the confrontation is a provocation orchestrated by Ukraine and others in America to disrupt the forthcoming meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Donald Trump at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires this week. "This should be the stance of a court", the spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters during a conference call.

With tensions spilling over, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas suggested on Tuesday that Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine could work together to resolve the tensions between Moscow and Kiev.

The UN secretary general, António Guterres, has urged both countries to use "maximum restraint" and avoid further escalation.

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