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

The Federal Security Service of Russia claims that the sailors didn’t sustain “direct bullet wounds” during the detention but received shrapnel wounds when their ship damaged
13:30, 8 December 2018
TASS

Detained in the Kerch Strait Ukrainian sailors can’t be considered as prisoners of war, since Russia and Ukraine are not in the condition of war. Mykhailo Shyshov, Head of the Department of Criminal Investigations of the Russian FSB claimed this during a briefing, Interfax reports. 

‘According to the Convention relative to the treatment of prisoners of war signed in Geneva on August 12, 1949, the indicated Ukrainian citizens are accused of having committed a criminal offense and cannot be considered as prisoners of war, since Russia and Ukraine are not in the state of military conflict or war,’ he claimed. 

Related: Azov Sea, Kerch Strait: Evolution of Their Purported Legal Status (Part Two)

Shyshov added that the investigation of the criminal case "about the illegal crossing of the state border" in relation to 24 Ukrainian sailors was transferred to the central office of the 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.   

Related: Germany offers to extend OSCE SMM mandate to 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: Azov Crisis hits EU economy

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’s Azov Sea attack on Ukraine planned in advance?

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