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Russia’s FSB makes public list of weapons found onboard detained Ukrainian warships

November 27, 2018, 20:40 UTC+3

The three Ukrainian navy ships that were involved in Sunday’s incident in the Kerch Strait were tasked to pass via the strait secretly

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MOSCOW, November 27. /TASS/. Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) on Tuesday made public the list of weapons seized from the Ukrainian warships that were detained while trying to illegally pass via the Kerch Strait.

Thus, according to the FSB, the ships were equipped with four 30mm guns, four AGS-17 automatic grenade launchers and four PKT machineguns (one 30mm gun, an AGS-17 grenade launcher and a PKT machinegun constitute an artillery system, thus each boat had two such systems). Apart from that, the list of weapons found onboard the ships includes two 12.7mm DShK machineguns, 13 AK-47 submachine guns, four handguns, a rubber-bullet gun, a flare gun, more than 765 high-explosive fragmentation shells of the 30mm caliber, as many as 1,975 charges to the VOG-17 grenade launcher and 495 charges to the VOG grenade launcher, 40 RG-42 hand grenades, 20 RGD grenades, a great number of munitions, and 15 knife byonets.

"Despite the measures taken by the Russian side, the Ukrainian navy ships were put on combat alert, with covers removed from the artillery systems and barrels being raised to an angle of 45 degrees and pointed at the Russian ships and boats (violation of article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982, part 2 of article 11 of Russia’s federal law on internal waters, territorial sea and adjacent areas of July 31, 1998)," the FSB once again repeated. "The Russia side warned the Ukrainian ships that a threat of the use of weapons in the Russian territorial waters will be considered as violation of norms of international law and Russia’s legislation."

The three Ukrainian navy ships that were involved in Sunday’s incident in the Kerch Strait were tasked to pass via the strait secretly, the press service said.

"The search of the detained Ukrainian military boats yielded a document entitled ‘A checklist of the Nikopol boat’s readiness to enter the sea from 09:00 a.m. on 23.11.2018 to 18:00 on 25.11.2018.’ The document sets the task for the senior officer of the ships’ group to sail from Odessa to Berdyansk "secretly," with "key attention focused on ensuring the secrecy during approaching and passing through the Kerch Strait," the FSB said, adding that the document was found onboard the Nikopol boat.

Apart from that, a handwritten memo of Russia’s rules of navigation via the Kerch Strait was found onboard the same ship. "It means that the Ukrainian seamen were fully aware of the strait passage procedures," it stressed.

In violation of the rules of passage via Russia’s territorial sea and the Kerch Strait, three warships of the Ukrainian Navy crossed Russia’s state border on November 25. The Russian side had to use weapons to compel the ships to stop. Three Ukrainian servicemen were lightly wounded. They received medical assistance. The ships were detained and escorted to the port of Kerch. A criminal case was initiated on border violation charges.

The Russian side described the incident as a provocation. Meanwhile the Ukrainian authorities have imposed martial law. The European Union and NATO, in turn, have called for de-escalation of the situation.

On Monday, Russia’s FSB said that the Russian territorial waters the Ukrainian warships intruded into had been Russia’s even before Crimea’s reunification with Russia. According to the FSB, it was done at the direct order from the Kiev authorities and the provocation was coordinated by two Ukrainian Security Service officers who were onboard the ships.

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