The US requested Russia to release Ukrainian sailors – if they don’t, Russia will face growing “consequences and pain”. In fact, the American threats are directed at the EU and not at Russia. They especially concern Germany and aim to stop the Nord Stream 2 project.
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.
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.