There was a Ukrainian provocation in the Kerch strait

Summary

Russian border guards seized the Ukrainian military ships during a provocation in the Kerch Strait on November 25, 2018.

Disproof

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 the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea provide for freedom of navigation.

On the 25th May on 2019, the UN International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea ruled that Russia should release the sailors detained in the Kerch Strait and return the ships to Ukraine.

Twenty-four military sailors returned to Ukraine on 7 September as part of a mutual release of detainees by Ukraine and Russia. On 18 November, 2019, Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it had handed three naval ships back to Ukraine.

For further reporting see Bellingcat, DFRLab and Polygraph.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 173
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 18/11/2019
  • Language/target audience: French
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Kerch, Provocation
  • Outlet: Sputnik French
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Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on “lost sovereignty”.

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Disproof

This is a conspiracy theory to support the claim of US-inspired anti-Morales coup, which is consistent with pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative attempting to deny the existence of genuine grass-roots protests, portraying them as foreign-led efforts and fake colour revolutions.

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NATO exercises in Lithuania, named after a Lithuanian fascist group, aim to provoke Russia

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Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on NATO belligerence towards Russia and on Russophobia.

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