Ukraine says 2 navy vessels hit by Russian fire

Russian jet fighters fly over a bridge connecting the Russian mainland with the Crimean Peninsula with a cargo ship blocking access and which led to a flare-up with three Ukraine ships. Reuters

The Ukrainian Navy reported that Russian coast guard ship Don rammed the Ukrainian tugboat Yani Kapu early on November 25 damaging its main engine, shell plating on the hull and guard rail. Despite the threats and provocations, the boats of the Ukrainian Navy continued performing their task, it said.

The global community has largely not recognized Russia's annexation of the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Ukraine.

The Kerch Strait, connecting the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, has been closed for civilian ships beginning Sunday after three Ukrainian Navy vessels violated the Russian border.

"Russia's provocative actions in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov have crossed the line and become aggressive", the statement said. "All illegal actions are recorded by the crews of the ships and the command of Ukraine's Navy and will be handed over to the respective worldwide bodies".

According to the Ukrainian navy, the naval vessels Berdyansk, Nikopol and Yani Kapu were carrying out a planned transfer from the port of Odessa to the port of Mariupol on the Azov Sea. Transit under the bridge has been blocked by a tanker ship, and dozens of cargo ships awaiting passage are stuck. Russian state news agency TASS, quoting Alexei Volkov, the general director of the Crimean seaports, said traffic through the strait had been closed for security purposes.

Still on the subject: Russian Federation captured Ukrainian naval vessels in Black Sea.

The incident began earlier on Sunday when the Ukrainian navy claimed a Russian coast guard vessel rammed a Ukrainian navy tugboat.

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Russia's ships "carried out openly aggressive actions against Ukrainian naval ships", the Ukrainian ministry of defence said in a statement.

The small-sized Berdiansk armored artillery boat was damaged.

A spokesman for Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Kyiv was convening an emergency meeting of the military's top brass on Sunday night after the second incident in a tense standoff between the two foes.

"The information was received [by Russian authorities] but no response was given", Chalylk said.

Russian media cited authorities as saying that Kyiv had sought to "create a conflict situation". The statement didn't mention ramming a Ukrainian tugboat.

A Russian coast guard vessel has rammed a Ukrainian navy tugboat, resulting in damage to the ship's engines and hull, the Ukrainian navy says.

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