"Today, on November 27, 2018, the Prosecutor's Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea initiated a criminal proceeding due to the violation by representatives of the so-called law enforcement agencies of the occupying power of the laws and customs of the war with respect to prisoners of war - Ukrainian sailors," the statement reads.
The prosecutor's office noted that representatives of the so-called law enforcement agencies of the occupying power violated the right of prisoners of war - members of the crew of the Ukrainian Navy's Berdiansk, Nikopol boats and Yany Kapu tugboat – to fair and regular trial.
The chief of the prosecutor's office, Gyunduz Mamedov, noted that Ukrainian sailors have the status of prisoners of war and fall within the scope of the Third Geneva Convention. Therefore, Russia is obliged to adhere to the relevant rules of international humanitarian law when treating Ukrainian sailors.
Earlier, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said that Ukrainian sailors captured by Russian troops in the Kerch Strait were prisoners of war and their trial was impossible.
On November 25, Russian border vessels committed aggressive actions against three Ukrainian ships that set sail from the port of Odesa to the port of Mariupol in the Azov Sea. After that, Russian special forces opened fire on the Ukrainian tugboat Yany Kapu, small armored artillery boats Berdiansk and Nikopol in the Kerch Strait and seized them. There were 23 sailors on board the ships, and six of them were wounded.
Russia announced its intention to try detained Ukrainian sailors for allegedly illegal crossing of the Russian state border.
Twelve Ukrainians stand trial in Russian-occupied Simferopol on November 27. The second group of sailors will be tried on Wednesday, November 28, and those wounded will face trial later in Kerch.