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Commander of one of Ukrainian ships, detained in Black Sea, refuses to testify

The investigators are considering the attorney's request to allow the commander to receive visits from family

MOSCOW, December 11. /TASS/. Denis Gritsenko, commander of one of the Ukrainian naval vessels, which had been detained in the Kerch Strait for breaching the Russian state border, does not plead guilty and is refusing to testify, his attorney Nikolai Polozov told TASS.

"Investigative measures were held today, my client refused to testify and did not plead guilty. Now the investigation team is considering my request to allow my client to receive visits from family," he stated.

Kerch Strait standoff

The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) reported on November 25 that the Ukrainian warships, the Berdyansk, the Nikopol and the Yany Kapu had breached the Russian state border on Sunday morning and attempted to carry out illegal maneuvers in Russia’s territorial waters later. The Ukrainian vessels ignored the legitimate demands of the Coast Guard of the FSB Border Service and the Black Sea Fleet to stop immediately and end their dangerous action. The Ukrainian warships carried on, blatantly disregarding these orders, which triggered a chase involving some gunfire to stop them. Consequently, the ships were detained in Russian territorial waters.

Moscow branded Kiev’s stunt in the Kerch Strait a dangerous provocation, while the European Union and NATO called for a de-escalation of tensions.

Ukraine in turn imposed martial law across the Vinnytsia, Lugansk, Nikolayev, Odessa, Sumy, Kharkov, Chernigov, Donetsk, Zaporozhye, and Kherson Regions along with the country’s territorial waters in the Azov-Kerch water zone.