The Ukrainian Navy has confirmed that Russian vessels have opened fire on Ukrainian warships.

Reports state that Russian fire damaged small armoured artillery boats and inured sailors.

The confrontation reportedly occurred as three Ukrainian ships sailed from the Black Sea port of Odessa. Russia are claiming that the Ukrainian vessels were in its waters and blocking access. Local media also report that Russian special forces have captured the armoured artillery boats plus a tugboat belonging to the Ukrainian Navy.

According to the Ukrainian Navy, six sailors were injured when a Russian ship fired on Ukraine’s vessels near the Kerch Strait, a narrow sea passage close to the Crimean peninsula which separates the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

“Small armored vessels, the Beryansk and the Nicopol, have been damaged by enemy fire and can’t move,” the Navy said in a Facebook post. “The Yany Kapu tugboat has also been forced to halt. The ships have been seized by Russian special forces,” it added.

The incident is understood to started on Sunday morning when Russia stopped the three Ukrainian ships from entering the Sea of Azov via the Kerch Strait by placing a cargo ship beneath a Russian controlled bridge.

With officials from both countries accusing the other of provocative behaviour and relations still raw after Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea and its backing for a pro-Moscow insurgency in eastern Ukraine, the incident risks pushing the two countries towards a wider conflict.

Earlier, Russia’s border guard service had accused Ukraine of not informing it in advance of the ships’ journey, something Kiev denied, and said the Ukrainian ships had been manoeuvring dangerously and ignoring its instructions with the aim of stirring up tensions.

The vessels are Gyurza-M gunboats Berdyansk and Nikopol and the tugboat Yana Kapa.

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Geoffrey Roach

Another example of Russia’s contribution to world peace. Why do something useful in the world when you can just spend your time bullying your neighbours.


So you know for a fact the Ukrainians are not at fault ?


English man want killing russian.


Having built the bridge across the straight to connect the Crimea to Russia-proper, and with ongoing hostilities in the east of the Ukraine i imagine they are now effectively strangling off any Ukrainian access to the Sea of Azov


Be a shame if little green men accidentally blew up that bridge lol. Seriously though Russia needs reigning in,watched the video earlier of the tug being rammed absolute disgrace. The Ukrainians should never have given up their nukes


Those nukes would not have helped them one single bit. Soviet and Russian designed nuclear weapons have Permissive Action Links (PALs) just like American weapons due. By the Ukraine’s own estimate it would have taken at least 12 to 18 months to get operational control of them. That is provided of course monkeying around with the warhead didn’t trip the safety and disable the thing. Further holding that many (albeit unusable) nukes next to the Russian border would have likely resulted in a war to destroy or recapture the warheads. Further those were not in fact Ukraine’s nukes they belonged… Read more »


Elliott are you suggesting that the American Trident IID5 Nuclear Ballistic Missiles that the UK buys has a piece of equipment inside them that means the UK can’t independantly launch said missiles? Because if so you are very wrong.

David Steeper

Elliot if they still had those nukes uncle Vlad would be sweetness and light. If you don’t believe me ask him.


Pointing a nuke you cannot detonate at a nuclear armed country is like pointing a pointing a toy gun at a police officer in the US a efficient means of suicide. The Ukrainians did not have the go codes for arming or launching them. If they had begun the more than year process to gain operational rather than merely possessive control of them the result would likely have been war to eliminate the threat or a crisis in which Russia AND the United States forced Ukraine to dismantle them. As great powers do not tolerate nuclear weapons on their borders… Read more »


Isnt this exactly what many people that post on this website say they want to see done to Spanish vessels that act up around Gibraltar ?


Until Spain agrees to return Ceuta & Mellila to Morrocco she has no case for demanding Gibraltar. That would give them half a credible case. However Gibraltarians overwhelmingly wish to remain under UK control.

[…] comes after clashes occurred when a Russian cargo ship stopped three Ukrainian Navy vessels from passing under the Kerch Strait […]


I also think the Russians planned this in advance, I mean who just has a tanker lying around to block a bridge

captain P Wash.

J, they also have and Aircraft Carrier lying around blocking a dock !


We need to make it very clear that we will not let the Ukraine be pushed around any further, or expect our liberty to be taken in the same way. It was very foolish to bring Nato right up to the Russian borders whilst massively disarming ourselves across Europe, but that’s done now & Russia is very aware of just how weak we are. Our militaries have been more occupied trying to resist cuts after cuts while being over extended in Iraq & Afghanistan. Spin it however the politicians try to BS the public, we’re dangerously weak. That can only… Read more »


Why? America’s buisness is in the South China Sea due to the hundreds of billions of dollars in solid goods and in to the trillions every year in commerce when the banking sector is factored with multiple countries in the region. Add to this the value of both the SCS and the Straits of Malacca to the south not only to the region but America strategically but for all of her Pacific allies and territories. How much does the Ukraine do in buisness with the United States going both ways? They don’t even crack 3 billion a year. So not… Read more »


German funded you say, do you not mean EU funded and controlled by Germany. Its taken them 70 years to work out how to control the European continent by not taking it with force but hats off to them they have done it.


We should simply just ratchet up sanctions further on Russia. Consider extending sanctions to European firms involved in Nord Stream 2. Germany and others must learn they cant have their cake and eat in when it comes to NATO vs Russia.


NATO needs the authority to exert soft power, such as trade/ economic sanctions etc, as well as the ability to exert hard power (ie military force). In the future as both China then India emerge to challenge the West, potentially allying with Russia, a more united front will be required.


This has nothing to do with NATO, Ukraine is not a member and no NATO country has a desire to go to war with Russia if they can avoid it. So far Russia has been pretty smart and sensible about this, they seized control of areas of Ukraine that were vast majority Russian and stopped there, if they had gone further we would be thinking back to the early days of Nazi Germany, but they didn’t. This situation seems a bit tit for tac to me. Ukraine sending not 1 but 3 armed gun boats to investigate a tanker, clearly… Read more »


You’ve missed the point of what Russia is doing by blocking the Kerch passage into the Sea of Azov, they’ve basically pushed an economic embargo on any of Ukraine’s shipping passing into the Black Sea. I don’t believe they have the rail and truck transportation to compensate by sending the goods via rail or road. Blocking the passageway effectively cuts Ukraine’s exports by 25%. So for a country that relies on it exports, this is a major kick in the cajones. Russia and the Ukraine signed a bilateral agreement allowing free access to both countries to the Sea of Azov… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

Hitler was obsessed with the Donbass and Donets Basin too due to the resources therein.

The whole war on the Russian front swayed back and forth in that region from 42 onwards.

Nothings changed!

captain P Wash.

De Ja Vu. History repeating Itself ?


I know some people feel we and the US do not have skin in this game, but unfortunately we do. This is mainly because of bad foreign policy on the part of the US and UK in the form of the Budapest MOSU. These rather idiotic document (to my mind) gives assurances about the security of the state of Ukraine. Now I know it’s not a guarantee in the same way as NATO membership and the US and UK never intended it to be any form of promise, but all the same assurance was given and now Russia are pissing… Read more »


The agreement gave no guarantee of sovereignty by the other party’s only that none would act aggressively toward Ukraine and would all respect its territorial integrity.

The last thing Ukraine wants to see is us fighting WW3 in their country over Crimea. A continuing build up of economic sanctions hits Putin were he is weakest. Military rhetoric plays into his hands.


I know this won’t be popular and people will think I am a Russian troll, but in my opinion this whole thing could have been avoided if we hadn’t tried to isolate Russia so much. If you look at it from their perspective, NATO can be seen as an aggressor and is expanding towards them and so they need to counter this aggression. Whilst we would like to see ourselves and NATO as more peace keeping, NATO was setup to counter Russia. They invaded eastern Ukraine because they saw what they perceive as ethnical Russians starving suffering under the Ukraine… Read more »

Barry John

I agree to a certain extent, we haven’t exactly ingratiated ourselves to the Russians since the end of the Cold War, but then they haven’t exactly done much to ingratiate themselves to us. It would be nice if Russia was more open and fully democratic, it’s a great nation with tremendous potential (and I feel that there is a fear in the west that Russia would supersede us if this was fully realised). However I can’t see Russia in the present situation changing, there’s too much power concentrated in a few individuals who find the current situation to their convenience.