The PACE Committee for Political Affairs and Democracy has upheld the Ukrainian report on Azov crisis. Lyudmyla Denisova, the Ukrainian parliamentary envoy for human rights reported that on Facebook.
'The report on this situation was considered and approved by the PACE Committee for Political Affairs and Democracy, along with the amendments, offered by the MP Oleksiy Honcharenko, the member of the Ukrainian delegation in PACE', she wrote.
According to Denisova, the document was approved by all but one member of the specified committee. The report states the necessity of release of Ukrainian sailors, free maritime navigation and condemns the construction of the bridge over the Kerch Strait.
Apart from that, the paper focuses on the protection of human rights, with a special emphasis on those of the Ukrainian sailors detained in Russia.
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, another - to the hospital of Matrosskaya Tishina prison.
On December 3, the Russian prosecutors officially accused Ukrainian sailors with the 'illegal crossing of the state border' during the attack in the Kerch Strait.
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.