Three Ukrainian naval vessels violated the Russian border on 25th of November of the last year. They entered the closed waters of Russia’s territorial sea and headed for the Kerch Strait through the Black Sea. They demonstrated dangerous manoeuvres and failed to obey the legitimate orders of the Russian authorities. The Russians arrested the sailors on the charges of illegal border crossing. Vladimir Putin called the incident a provocation related to the low ratings of then President Poroshenko before the elections.
Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Kerch Strait incident.
On November 25th 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. 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 are considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine.
Read more about the pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign on Azov sea and the Kerch Strait incident.