All Ukrainian sailors captured by Russia should be set free, not subjected to psychiatric evaluations, which violate their rights. The U.S. Embassy in Ukraine made a respective statement, posting it on Facebook.
'Rather than conduct psychiatric exams on Ukrainian sailors that violate their rights, Russia should release immediately all Ukrainian sailors and all Ukrainian political prisoners. We are deeply concerned by Russia’s treatment of the Ukrainians it has unjustly detained', the statement says.
On November 25, 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.