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World Ukraine accuses Russia of removing weapons, toilet bowls from seized Navy ships: report

23:00  21 november  2019
23:00  21 november  2019 Source:   foxnews.com

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The three Ukrainian naval ships seized by Russia in November of last year were returned Monday but officials allege that the weapons, equipment and even the toilet bowls were removed before they were handed back over.

NEUTRAL WATERS OF THE BLACK SEA - NOVEMBER 18, 2019: Handing over the Ukrainian Navy's Berdyansk and Nikopol artillery boats and Yani Kapu tugboat to Ukraine. The three ships attempting to pass from the Black Sea into the Sea of Azov were seized by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) Coast Guard in the Kerch Strait on November 25, 2018, the sailors were charged with violating Russia's maritime border. Video screen grab. Russian Federal Security Service/TASS (Photo by Russian Federal Security Service\TASS via Getty Images) NEUTRAL WATERS OF THE BLACK SEA - NOVEMBER 18, 2019: Handing over the Ukrainian Navy's Berdyansk and Nikopol artillery boats and Yani Kapu tugboat to Ukraine. The three ships attempting to pass from the Black Sea into the Sea of Azov were seized by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) Coast Guard in the Kerch Strait on November 25, 2018, the sailors were charged with violating Russia's maritime border. Video screen grab. Russian Federal Security Service/TASS (Photo by Russian Federal Security Service\TASS via Getty Images)

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  Russia hands back captured naval ships to Ukraine before summit Russia on Monday handed back three naval ships it captured last year to Ukraine, something Kiev wanted to happen before a four-way peace summit on eastern Ukraine next month in Paris. © Reuters/STRINGER Seized Ukrainian naval ships are towed by Russia's Coast Guard vessels out of the port in Kerch The handover, confirmed by the two countries' foreign ministries, occurred in the Black Sea off the coast of Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

Ukraine's navy commander Ihor Voronchenko has accused Moscow of stripping the vessels seized from the Black Sea on Nov. 25, 2018.

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"[Russia] removed even dome lights, sockets, and toilet bowls," he said according to a BBC report.

Russia’s Federal Security Service denied the allegations, saying that the ships – two gunboats and a tug – were returned in “normal condition and with good plumbing,” the report continued.

The agency claimed that at the time of the handover, Ukraine agreed to the condition of the vessels by signing the documents accepting them.

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Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky inspected the ships Thursday and noted that some of the weapons were missing.

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A Russian reporter shared a video from inside the ships that appeared to show a toilet although it was not clear when the footage was taken.

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The three ships were seized after Russia claimed they had violated procedures for transiting the Kerch Strait, while the Ukrainians said they were traveling in international waters.

The Russian coast guard fired shots, then captured the ships and their crew of 24 Ukrainian sailors. The sailors were detained for 10 months and returned home in September as part of a prisoner exchange.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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