MOSCOW, January 15. /TASS/. Moscow’s Lefortovsky District Court has extended until April 24 the arrest of 20 Ukrainian sailors charged with violating the Russian border in the Kerch Strait, a court source told TASS on Tuesday.
"The court on Tuesday upheld the investigation’s request and extended the arrest of the defendants until April 24," the source said. He said the court postponed until Wednesday a session to review the same request for the remaining four sailors.
The court hearing took place behind closed doors.
Kerch Strait incident
On November 25, 2018, 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.
A criminal investigation was opened into the border incident. The Ukrainian ships’ crew members, 24 Ukrainian nationals were arrested. They are charged with violating the Russian border under Article 322.3 of the Russian Criminal Code. If found guilty, they may face up to six years in prison.