Ukraine Is Accusing Russia of Attacking and Seizing Three of its Ships in the Black Sea

The EU and NATO are now calling for restraint.

The Russian-built Kerch bridge connecting the Russian mainland with the Crimean Peninsula on November 25.AP Photo

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On Sunday, Ukraine accused Russia of opening fire on and seizing three of its ships in the Sea of Azov, off the coast of the Crimean Peninsula, according to reports from multiple news agencies. As Radio Free Europe reports:

The Ukrainian Navy says Russian forces opened fire on a group of its ships in the Black Sea off the coast of the Crimean Peninsula late on November 25, striking two warships and wounding two crew members before seizing the vessels along with a Ukrainian Navy tugboat.

The Ukrainian Navy announced the incident on a day of heightened tension after Russia reportedly blocked the three Ukrainian Navy ships from passing from the Black Sea into the Sea of Azov via the Kerch Strait.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova late on November 25 accused Ukrainian authorities are using “gangster tactics” in the Kerch Strait — first a provocation, pressure from military forces, and finally accusations of aggression.

The Ukrainian Navy later reported that six of its servicemen were wounded in the gunfight. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called an emergency meeting with his military and security chiefs.

In a statement Sunday, a spokesperson for the European Union said, “We expect Russia to restore freedom of passage at the Kerch strait and urge all to act with utmost restraint to de-escalate the situation immediately.”

NATO similarly called for restraint:

Update: Through state-run media, Russia confirmed reports of the confrontation. 

This is a developing news story.

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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