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Ukrainian sailors in custody for breaching Russian border to get free legal aid

November 27, 2018, 15:08 UTC+3 SIMFEROPOL

On November 25, three Ukrainian naval ships breached the Russian state border in the Kerch Strait

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© Sergei Malgavko/TASS

SIMFEROPOL, November 27. /TASS/. The crew of the ships detained on Sunday in the Kerch Strait area for violating the Russian state border will receive free legal assistance, Commissioner for Human Rights in Crimea Lyudmila Lubina told TASS on Tuesday.

"They are foreigners, and providing them with attorneys is mandatory. They must receive (legal) defense," Lubina said, answering the question on whether sailors can get free legal services. She specified that this is the task of the investigators to find lawyers.

Lubina added that she is staying in Simferopol, because on Tuesday the sailors are due in court and measures of restraint will be selected for them. "I think I will have a chance to talk to them today. Maybe they’ll want to file a complaint or give something to be handed over to their relatives," she explained.

The human rights commissioner explained, "Their lives and health are not in danger," according to the information she possesses, the injured had flesh wounds. Furthermore, she went on to specify that "there are three boys, three privates with the youngest born in 1999," and she stressed that the "captains and the mid-ranking officers were not injured." Besides, she presumes that the sailors that were brought to the hospital may turn out to be active-duty soldiers.

On November 25, three Ukrainian naval ships breached the Russian state border in the Kerch Strait. The Ukrainian ships did not respond to the legitimate demands coming from the vessels of the Border Service of the Russian Security Service (FSB) and the Black Sea Fleet that had pursued them in order to stop them immediately and thwart their dangerous maneuvers. Because of their blatant refusal to submit to the order, gunfire had to be used to stop the intruding Ukrainian ships. Three Ukrainian servicemen were lightly injured and later received medical treatment. In addition, the ships were detained. A criminal case was launched into the breach of the Russian state border. Later in the day, following Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko’s order, the Council of National Security and Defense of Ukraine decided to impose martial law in the country.

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