Kyiv District Court of Simferopol arrested another nine Ukrainian sailors until January 25, 2019, who were detained by Russian border officers, the sentence should have been announced today. Reporter from Radio Liberty Anton Naumliuk reported this on Facebook.
Captain Denys Hrytsenko from Berdyansk ship, Commander Oleh Melnychuk from Yana Kapu and Senior Lieutenant Bohdan Nebylytsia from Nikopol armored artillery boat are those who were arrested today.
Russia’s Federal Security Service initiated a criminal proceeding for “illegal border crossing”.
Edem Smedliaiev, lawyer of arrested captain Oleh Melnychuk claimed that he managed to talk to Oleh for several minutes. They allowed appealing the decision of the court. Oleh said that he was not allowed to communicate with his relatives, he was only able to call his father, with whom he exchanged literally several words.
The lawyer informed that Oleh used the services of a translator from Russian into Ukrainian during the hearing. ‘He has also claimed in the court that he pleads not guilty, believes that he is not involved in this case and ready to defend his innocence anywhere, including in the courts,’ the lawyer said.
Edem Smedliaiev noted that there is no detailed information regarding the other sailors yet. He stressed that the first thing they need right now is clothes.
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.
Kyiv demanded from Moscow to immediately provide the medical service to the wounded sailors and provide them urgent return to the Ukrainian territory. According to the Naval Forces of Ukraine, six sailors are wounded and two of them were in the critical condition.
Russian Ombudsman Tatyana Moskalkova named the exact number of the detained Ukrainian servicemen – 24. Moskalkova added that “procedural actions connected with the establishment of the facts of the events. If a military vessel enters the waters, certainly, this is a violation of the borders, this is a socially dangerous act, which demands a special qualification and procedure.”
Later it was reported that the Ukrainian servicemen taken captive in Kerch Strait are being forced to give false testimony. The Commander of Ukraine’s Navy noted that the lawyers have already met with this military.