Russia says this is one of many confessions by Ukrainian sailors about how their Navy illegally entered its territorial waters despite warnings.
There’s outrage in Ukraine.
Its foreign minister says these men are obviously talking under duress while as he puts it ’under the claws of Russia’s FSB Security Service’.
But they’re prisoners of war covered by the Geneva Convention and should have access to the International Red Cross.
Most of the servicemen ended up here in Simferopol before a court that gave out detention orders for two months while cases are investigated.
Internationally, the pressure on Russia appeared to have no effect on its foreign minister Sergei Lavrov visiting paris.
If the Ukrainian side like its partners in Europe is interested in avoiding such situations in the future, it is obviously necessary to send a signal to Kiev not to allow such provocations.
That is not for us to do but for those who maintain close contact with the Ukrainian authorities.
Mr. Lavrov hadn’t appeared willing to meet a request made by the French foreign minister.
I told Sergei Lavrov that a gesture is expected from Russia, but the prisoners and the boats being held must be freed as soon as possible.
But I will also call my Ukrainian counterpart to encourage him to seek a de-escalation in this region.
There may be no confrontation now in the Kerch Strait, but the words exchanged by both sides are getting more volatile.
Ukraine’s Navy is saying the Russians were shooting to kill on Sunday.
Russia is warning that limited martial law to be imposed in parts of Ukraine on Wednesday could escalate the conflict.
And now it’s emerged that not all the arrested crew are sailors.
Ukraine’s state security service, the SBU says it had counterintelligence officers on board.
And it also says that two missiles were fired by one of two Russian fighter jets at the boats and one of those agents was seriously injured.
What happens next to the detained Ukrainian servicemen may be unclear.
What’s certain though is that without their release, Ukraine will continue to ramp up pressure for some sort of international action against Russia for what happened off the shores of annexed Crimea.