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Kyiv prepares new provocation in Kerch Strait involving NATO

Summary of Disinformation

Ukrainian authorities are planning to send military ships back to the Kerch Strait in order to violate Russian naval territory. 

They are preparing to attempt a new illegal entry of the Kerch Strait without any prior request, without observing security measures, and without a pilot. They asked NATO countries to deploy representatives on Ukrainian ships in order to cross the Kerch Strait illegally. 

 

Disproof

No evidence given. This is a continuation of the pro-Kremlin narrative that, on November 24th 2018, Ukrainian ships approached the Kerch Strait without giving any warning, leading the Russian side to open fire.

According to a Bellingcat investigation based on geolocated video footage, Ukrainian ships did enter Russian-claimed territorial waters. They are, in fact, only Russian-claimed territorial waters, rather than internationally recognised boundaries. The use of the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov is regulated by a bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004. According to the document, the Sea of Azov is considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine.

Based on information provided by the Russian FSB, which appears to incriminate the agency, the shooting of the ‘Berdyansk’ ship (the most serious incident) most likely took place in international waters. For further details about the incident, see the Bellingcat investigation.

More cases about the Kerch Strait incident are available here.

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Reported in: Issue 138
Date: 21.02.2019
Language: French
Country: Russia, Ukraine
Keywords: Azov sea, Kerch, NATO
Outlet where the disinformation appeared: Sputnik French
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