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Captured Ukrainian sailors give false testimony, - Ukraine's Navy Commander

The sailors were testifying under psychological and physical pressure
14:02, 27 November 2018

Igor Voronchenko, the Commander of the Ukrainian Navy
Radio Liberty

Ihor Voronchenko, Commander of the Ukrainian Navy, stated that the Ukrainian servicemen taken captive in Kerch Strait are being forced to give false testimony, as Interfax-Ukraine reported.

“I know these sailors from Nikopol, they have always been honest professionals. Things they are saying now is not true,” Voronchenko stated.

Related: Kremlin tells when Putin explains situation in Azov Sea area

It is about a “video of the questioning,” published by the Russian Federal Security Service. In this video, the sailors say, that they were “warned multiple times” about a ban to pass through the Kerch Strait and “intentionally ignored” the warnings. Besides, Russian media called one of the sailors who is on the videotape, his name is Andriy Drach, the officer of Ukraine’s Security Service. Yet, Drach does not mention this on the video.

The Commander of Ukraine’s Navy noted that the lawyers have already met with this military.

Related: Putin, Merkel discuss conflict in Azov Sea

He also told that two servicemen were born in Crimea and their parents live on the peninsula, which might cause further pressure on them.

Answering the question about the information spread by Russia that allegedly, there were Security Service officers on the board of the Ukrainian vessels, Voronchenko said: “They (the Russian side, - ed.) might say we came from the outer space on a spaceship”.

Related: Ukraine prepares for martial law in regions: anti-tank ditches, checkpoints

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.  The Verkhovna Rada adopted the draft law approving as a whole a presidential decree on the imposition of martial law in Ukraine.

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