First Vice-Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Iryna Gerashchenko has urged the MPs to support the draft law #9478, which allows to provide 24 Ukrainian sailors with the status of combatants, as the basis as 112 Ukraine reported.
“I kindly ask that... We need to submit and consider the draft law on the status of veterans #9478, in the first reading. It will allow us to provide 24 Ukrainian sailors with the status of combatants on the request of their relatives and blood brothers. Nobody doubts that these guys were at the front, when the Russians shelled them,” Gerashchenko said.
She also urged to consider the draft law #9508 on Unified register of veterans in the first reading.
The draft law #9478 proposes amendments to the law “On the status of the veterans of war and guarantees of their social protection”. Particularly, it is proposed to establish that the crews of the vessels, boats, supply vessels, planes and helicopters, other persons, who defended the territorial integrity of Ukraine and participated in the carry out military tasks in the terms of the direct contact and fire contact with the military formations of other states and illegal armed formations can be concerned as the combatants.
The action of the law should be spread on the relations that occurred since the beginning of the temporary occupation of the part of Ukraine since February 20, 2014.
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.
As we reported, lawyer Nikolai Polozov, who deals with the defense of Ukrainian prisoners of war, confirmed that three Ukrainian sailors wounded in the Russian Navy attack on Ukrainian ships were brought from Matrosskaya Tishina to Lefortovo prison in Moscow. He also added that it happened on Monday, January 28.