The court hearing in the case of captured Ukrainian sailors at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, slated for May 10 will take no longer than three hours. Olena Zerkal, the spokeswoman of Ukraine's Foreign Ministry reported that on Facebook.
'Russia has been playing semantics with every single word and every single statement, distorting their meaning. When reading documents, you may see how Russia exercises in the skills of swearing black is white, denying to recognize that white is white', she wrote. Thus, making decisions about procedures, creating documents and preparing for hearings take much more time than the session itself.
Covington & Burling LLP provide legal assistance for Ukraine in this particular case, Zerkal added.
In November 2018, the coast guard ships of the Russian Navy attacked the ships of the Ukrainian Navy, which have been carrying out a scheduled transition from Odesa port to Mariupol port in the Sea of Azov. Ukrainian ships were rejected passage via the Kerch Strait, Russian coast guards opened aimed fire on them.
All 24 sailors on board were captured and delivered to Moscow – 21 of them were delivered to Lefortovo remand center, the rest came to the hospital of Matrosskaya Tishina prison.
Facing an extension of the sentence term, Ukrainian POWs detained in the Kerch Strait refused to testify in Lefortovo court. Sailors were distributed into six groups, four people in each. On January 15, 2019, Moscow's Lefortovo district court decided to keep 20 Ukrainian sailors in remand until April 24. On January 16, the court extended the detention term for another 4 sailors.