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World Three navy ships held by Russia return to Ukraine port

09:40  21 november  2019
09:40  21 november  2019 Source:   msn.com

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KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian naval ships , captured by Russia last November and released on Tuesday to be returned to Ukraine , are in very poor condition and cannot move independently, the commander of Ukraine 's navy said on Wednesday. Russia seized three ships in the Kerch Strait last year after

Ukrainian naval ships , captured by Russia last November and released on Tuesday to be returned to Ukraine , are in very poor condition and cannot move independently, the commander of Ukraine 's navy said on Wednesday. Russia seized three ships in the Kerch Strait last year after opening fire

Three navy vessels that Moscow seized last year and handed back to Ukraine have arrived at a Ukrainian port, though Kiev said they were stripped of equipment.

a small boat in a large body of water: The two gunboats and a tugboat were handed back this week after they were held in evidence following what Moscow says was an illegal breach of the Russian border© Oleksandr GIMANOV The two gunboats and a tugboat were handed back this week after they were held in evidence following what Moscow says was an illegal breach of the Russian border

The Nikopol, the Berdyansk and the Yany Kapu were seized in November last year in the Kerch Strait, in the most serious confrontation between Russia and Ukraine since the beginning of the conflict in east Ukraine in 2014.

The two gunboats and a tugboat were handed back this week after they were held in evidence following what Moscow says was an illegal breach of the Russian border.

Russia begins moving captured Ukrainian ships before possible handover

  Russia begins moving captured Ukrainian ships before possible handover Russia begins moving captured Ukrainian ships before possible handoverThe reporter in Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, saw tug boats pulling the three vessels through the Kerch Strait toward the Black Sea where they could potentially travel onwards toward Ukraine.

Russian authorities have returned three Ukrainian military ships from their Crimean port to Ukraine . Russia accused the Ukrainian navy of trying to stage a "provocation" and illegally entering Russian territorial waters, while Ukraine describes the incident as an act of Russian aggression.

Ukrainian naval ships , captured by Russia last November and released on Tuesday to be returned to Ukraine , are in very poor Russia seized three ships in the Kerch Strait last year after opening fire on them and wounding several sailors. Moscow said the ships - two small Ukrainian armored artillery

The ships were welcomed back on Wednesday evening by the Ukrainian navy and President Volodymyr Zelensky, who reviewed them in the Black Sea navy port in Ochakiv.

"I am very happy that our navy vessels are back where they belong. As promised, we have brought back our sailors and our ships," Zelensky said.

"Some of the equipment is missing, as well as some weapons," he said. "There will be an investigation. We will see all of the details."

The vessels had to be towed to their destination by other Ukrainian ships and were greeted from the shore by Ukrainians holding national flags.

The Ukrainian defence ministry said that "the Russians have dismantled some communication and navigation equipment on board," and the ships will be examined by Ukrainian investigators and military prosecutors.

This will permit Ukraine to use the information "for judicial review of Russia's actions in Ukrainian and international courts," Admiral Igor Voronchenko said in a statement.

Sailors from the three ships were held by Moscow for months before being released in October in a high-profile prisoner swap with Ukraine, a long-awaited measure aimed at easing tensions ahead of a Ukraine peace summit next month.

The presidents of Ukraine and Russia, with mediation by their counterparts from Germany and France, will meet in Paris on December 9 aiming to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

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