Russian Federation blames Ukraine for provoking naval standoff near Crimea

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"Having breached this morning the Russian border, the three Ukrainian ships - the Berdyansk, the Nikopol and the Yani Kapu - tried again on November 25 at 19:00 (Moscow time) to conduct illegal actions in Russian territorial waters", the FSB said on Sunday.

According to the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti, the Ukrainian military started shelling residential areas of the self-proclaimed DNR, as Ukrainian vessels challenged Russia at the Kerch Strait. The two artillery ships were damaged and six sailors were injured, according to Ukraine's navy, with the vessels and personnel still detained by Russian Federation.

"NATO is closely monitoring developments in the Azov Sea and the Kerch Strait, and we are in contact with the Ukrainian authorities".

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed an order on the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine to impose a martial law in Ukraine, reads to the order of the President published on the website of the Presidential Administration. Crimea, on the western shore, is now controlled by Moscow, the eastern shore is Russian territory, and the northern shore is controlled by Ukraine.

Russian Federation fired at and captured three Ukrainian boats in the sea off Crimea on Sunday, sparking a major escalation of tensions between the neighboring countries.

At an emergency United Nations Security Council session requested by Ukraine, outgoing U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley condemned Russia's "outlaw actions" in violation of worldwide law, but made no mention of whether the U.S. might toughen existing sanctions against Moscow.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg "expressed NATO's full support for Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty, including its full navigational rights in its territorial waters under global law", according to a statement Monday.

A Nato spokeswoman, Oana Lungescu, said the organisation called for "restraint and de-escalation" and supported Ukraine's "navigational rights in its territorial waters". We need new sanctions against Russian Federation.

Lavrov called the incident a "clear provocation" by Kiev and accused the European Union of "blind support" for Ukraine. This also gives Moscow leverage over Ukraine and its struggling port cities along the Sea of Azov.

The Kerch Strait between the Azov and Black seas.

The bridge connecting the Russian mainland with the Crimean peninsula at the Kerch strait. Not to mention questionable legacy of seizure of private property, civil merchant ship with civil crew, and using it as a shield, such act in general, is considered as an act of desperation, last chance to stop oncoming overwhelmingly powerful enemy force - but there wasn't anything like this, on the contrary, Russian forces were incomparably stronger, and there wasn't any threat of hostile actions from Ukrainian side.

A senior German official is calling on Russia and Ukraine to de-escalate tensions after Russian coast guard ships fired on Ukrainian navy vessels.

Russian state media have given generous coverage to the incident, devoting several live TV debates to the issue.

Relations between the countries have gone steadily downhill since Russia's 2014 annexation of the Crimea peninsula.

Both countries have accused each other of harassing each other's shipping in Sea of Azov in the past and the US State Department in August said Russia's actions looked created to destabilize Ukraine, which has two major industrial ports there.