MOSCOW, December 7. /TASS/. Ukrainian navy sailors, arrested for violating Russia’s border in the Kerch Strait, did not understand they were committing a crime, Russian Human Rights Ombudsperson Tatyana Moskalkova told reporters after visiting three of the sailors at a Moscow pre-trial detention center’s hospital.
"I am under the impression that they did not understand they were committing a crime by crossing another country’s border," she said.
According to Moskalkova, she did not ask direct questions but got the impression from talking to the sailors.
She added they had no complaints about their incarceration conditions and medical treatment.
The human rights ombudsperson noted that the arrested sailors had received emails from home.
On November 25, three Ukrainian navy ships illegally crossed Russia’s border and tried to carry out some illegal actions in Russian territorial waters later in the day. They ignored legitimate demands to stop issued by vessels belonging to the FSB Border Service and the Black Sea Fleet and continued maneuvering dangerously. In order to stop the Ukrainian ships, weapons had to be used. The three vessels were detained in Russian territorial waters. Three Ukrainian military servicemen suffered light wounds and were provided with medical assistance. A criminal investigation has been opened into the border incident. The Ukrainian ships’ crew members, 24 Ukrainian nationals, have been arrested until January 25, 2019. If found guilty, they may face up to six years in prison.