"In an attempt to seize new territory, Russia illegally takes control of the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov. The time has come for the West to impose economic sanctions on the Russian ports of Rostov-on-Don and Novorossiysk in response to Russia’s de facto blockade of the Ukrainian ports of Mariupol and Berdyansk," he wrote on Facebook.
On November 25, 2018, Russian border ships fired on and seized in the Kerch Strait three Ukrainian vessels that were moving from the port of Odesa to the port of Mariupol. A total of 24 Ukrainian sailors were captured.
Russian-controlled "courts" in occupied Crimea arrested all sailors for two months, and they were taken to Moscow. All of them told investigators that they are prisoners of war.
On January 15 and 16, Moscow's Lefortovo District Court decided to extend the arrest of captive sailors for three months.
The lawyers of Ukrainians filed appeals against these decisions.
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