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All Ukrainian sailors detained in Kerch Strait transferred to Moscow

SIMFEROPOL, November 30. /TASS/. All the 24 Ukrainian navy sailors, detained in the Kerch Strait, have been transferred to Moscow, Crimean Human Rights Ombudsperson Lyudmila Lubina told TASS on Friday.

"All the sailors have been transferred to Moscow, not a single one of them remains in the Simferopol pre-trial detention center," she said.

The 24 Ukrainian citizens, including navy sailors, navy officers and officers of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), are arrested until January 25, 2019. They are suspected of violating Article 322.3 of the Russian Criminal Code (illegal crossing of the Russian state border) and may face up to six years behind bars if found guilty.

Kerch Strait incident

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.

Moscow slammed the incident as a provocation. The European Union and NATO called for de-escalation, while Kiev declared a 30-day martial law starting from November 28.