Ukraine moves troops to Russian border

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko stated that starting December 3, the Ukrainian troops will be redeployed to the Russian border, as reported on the President’s website.

“Certain units will be redeployed to strengthen the defense of the border. Military exercises will be conducted in the regions where martial law was imposed. Training with the stand-by reserve will take place,” he said. Poroshenko also pointed out that protection of the country’s nuclear and hydropower plants has been increased and that measures would also be taken to strengthen air defense.

The President added that martial law is necessary to increase defense and expressed hope that “the measures that had been taken would be sufficient” and it won't be necessary to extend them.

On the morning of November 25, Ukraine informed the Russian port of its intention to transfer three ships through the Kerch Strait, as required by the Agreement on the joint use of the Azov Sea and Kerch Strait. However, at around 8:00 a.m., Russian ships carried out acts of provocation against the Ukrainian vessels, even ramming into the Yany Kapu tugboat.

Russia later accused the Ukrainian ships of illegally entering its territorial waters, claiming that they were “maneuvering dangerously” and “not complying with the legitimate demands of the Russian authorities”. Russia also physically blocked the Kerch Strait with a transport ship. The Ukrainian ships decided to return to Odessa, but they were chased and subsequently attacked by the Russian military. The Berdiansk and Nikopol boats were hit, and two crew members were wounded. All three of the ships were seized by Russia.

On November 28, the Kremlin-controlled court of Simferopol placed the Ukrainian sailors under 2 months of arrest – until January 25, 2019.

After the incident, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko imposed martial law in ten regions of Ukraine which will last until December 26.

  Ukraine, Poroshenko, Russia, Kerch Strait