MOSCOW, May 27. /TASS/. The Moscow City Court has upheld the decision to extend the remand of all 24 Ukrainian sailors arrested in the wake of the Kerch Strait incident, a court source told TASS.
"The Court has upheld the decision made by the Lefortovsky District Court," he said.
On April 17, Moscow’s Lefortovsky District Court extended the sailors’ remand for three months, until August 25. The sailors’ defense insists that they should be treated as prisoners of war.
Kerch Strait incident
On November 25, 2018, three Ukrainian naval ships illegally crossed Russia’s border and tried to carry out some illegal actions in Russian territorial waters. 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 were arrested. They are charged with violating the Russian border under Article 322.3 of the Russian Criminal Code and may face up to six years in prison if found guilty.
On May 25, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) ordered Russia to release the three Ukrainian naval vessels and their 24 servicemen.