No Sign of Release for 24 Ukrainian Sailors Held in Russia
28 May, 2019

Following the decision of the United Nations International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, that the detention of 24 Ukrainian sailors by Russia in the Kerch Strait near the occupied Crimea in November, is illegal, Ukraine demanded Russia to release them. However, the Moscow city court has left all the detained sailors in custody.

Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that it sent a note to their Russian counterparts on May 27, demanding to release the sailors and return the seized ships to Ukraine.

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It followed the ruling of the UN International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, based in Hamburg, Germany, that the detention of the 24 sailors by Russia was illegal.

Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Russian President Vladimir Putin, told Vedomosti, that the sailors will remain detained until the investigation into the illegal violation of the law of the border” is finished.

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The seamen were arrested on November 25, 2018, during the transfer from Odesa to Mariupol on the Azov Sea. Three Ukrainian ships were seized by Russian forces and 24 sailors aboard were arrested, including two employees of Ukraine’s Security Service, SBU.