Kremlin led misinformation campaign before capture of Ukrainian vessels, - European Commissioner

Source : 112 Ukraine

The false claims read that Ukraine infected the sea with cholera and that its secret services tried to deliver a nuclear bomb to the occupied Crimea
21:07, 10 December 2018

European Commissioner Julian King claimed that the Russian Federation initiated a disinformation campaign before the capture of three Ukranian ships and their crew in the Kerch Strait, in order to ease the public opinion, reports The Guardian. 

According to the British Commissioner, the false claims read that Ukraine infected the sea with cholera and that its secret services tried to deliver a nuclear bomb to the occupied Crimea. 

Related: All captured Ukrainian sailors enjoy legal support, - ombudswoman

King has also said that the division of the European Commission responsible for covering disinformation revealed a complicated network of lie dissemination coming from the Russian sources. 

‘If you thought that incident came out of nowhere, you would be wrong. The disinformation campaign began much earlier, more than a year ago, when Russian media started pushing claims that the authorities in Kiev were dredging the seabed in the Sea of Azov in preparation for a NATO fleet to take up residence,’ he noted.

Related: Ukrainian sailors cannot be considered as POWs, - Russia’s FSB

As we reported earlier, the coast guard ships of the Russian Navy acted aggressively against 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.    

‘Today, November 25, the ships of the Ukrainian Navy with two armored gunboats and a sea mule tugboat have been carrying out a scheduled transition from Odesa port to Mariupol port in the Sea of Azov. The intention to make the transition was informed in advance in accordance with international standards in order to ensure the safety of navigation. However, contrary to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Treaty between Ukraine and the Russian Federation on cooperation in the use of the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait, the Russian coast guard ships - Sobol class patrol boat, Don border guard cruiser, Mangust class patrol boat and Suzdalets anti-submarine warfare ship performed blatantly aggressive acts against the ships of the Ukrainian Navy,’ reads the message.   

Related: Ukrainian consul visits yet four sailors in Russia's Lefortovo remand center, - Ombudsman

It is specified that Don border guard cruiser rammed the Ukrainian armored artillery boat, which led to the damage of the main engine.     

The Ukrainian Navy states that "the dispatcher service of the occupiers refuses to ensure the right of freedom of navigation, guaranteed by international agreements." Thus, according to the Ukrainian side, Russia has once again demonstrated its aggressive nature and complete disregard for the norms of international law. 

Related: Russia excludes possibility of releasing Ukrainian sailors until trial ends

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