Disinfo: Ukrainian naval vessels violated the Russian border in Kerch Strait


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.



  • Reported in: Issue 149
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 06/05/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Ukraine
  • Keywords: Azov sea, Kerch
  • Outlet: Sputnik Abkhazia
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Conspiracy theory, no evidence given.

This message is in line with previous narratives claiming that the EU is a threat to member states' sovereignty and economic survival,  and that foreign powers are interfering in Romanian internal affairs.

The EU and the US violate the rights of Russian journalists

Over the past five years, there were hundreds of examples when rights of Russian journalists were violated in the Baltic States and other European countries, and in the US. They deport Russian journalists, freeze their accounts, restrict their activities, conduct unfounded searches in the offices of Russian media. International human rights organisations, and leaders of some European countries, mostly ignore these violations.


No evidence given. The claim was disseminated with reference to the case of Kirill Vyshinsky - head of RIA Novosti's Ukrainian branch, who was detained by SBU for treason.

An attempt of whataboutism and counter-accusations as international organisations often criticise Russia for violating the right to freedom of speech and rights of journalists. In fact, in 2014 Russia expelled an American journalist for the first time since the collapse of the USSR.

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This is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative casting civil uprisings in other states as US-funded "colour revolutions", also present in the case of Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, Venezuela. Consistent with multiple pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the US and its global role.