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Ukrainian sailors detained by Russia do not want to return home

Summary of Disinformation

As part of the Ukrainian provocation in the Azov Sea, the Ukrainian ships were supposed to sink and the sailors were to become “martyrs” of the “Russian aggression”. This provocation did not succeed, as detained Ukrainian sailors start to understand the situation better. There are rumours that some of them don’t want to return to Ukraine if they get released.



No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin conspiracy narrative about Azov Sea.

For background:

On November 25 border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and their crews after shooting at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen. Russia argued that they were in Russian waters.

However a bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004, governs the use of the Kerch strait and the Sea of Azov, which in the treaty is considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine.

The construction of the Kerch Bridge took place without Ukraine's consent and constitutes a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. It has led, in parallel with the militarisation of the Azov Sea, to tougher controls on naval traffic in the strait. The European Union stated that it expects  Russia to stop the inspections.

For further reporting see the BellingcatDFRLab and Polygraph.

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Reported in: Issue 130
Date: 13.12.2018
Language: Russian
Country: Russia, Ukraine
Keywords: Azov sea, Provocation
Outlet where the disinformation appeared: News Front
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