Disinfo: The incident in the Kerch strait was a crime of the Ukrainian military


Ukraine will get back its ships detained in Crimea, but only after recognising their provocation in the Kerch Strait. The Russian side considers the incident in the strait as a crime of the Ukrainian military.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the Kerch incident.

On the 25th of November 2018, border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and a tug boat and their crews after shooting at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen and arresting 24 members.

Russia stated they were in Russian waters. However, according to the bilateral agreement between Ukraine and Russia, the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov are the internal waters of both Russia and Ukraine.

The agreement gives both parties the power to inspect suspicious vessels. Furthermore, both the 2003 bilateral agreement and UN Convention on the Law of the Sea provide for freedom of navigation.

For further reporting see BellingcatDFRLab and Polygraph.


  • Reported in: Issue171
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 05/11/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Ukraine, Kerch, War crimes, Military, Provocation, Crimea


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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