Ukrainian Fishermen Captured in the Azov Sea Admit to Illegal Fishing
16 February, 2020

Four Ukrainian fisherman, detained by Russia while fishing in the Azov Sea, have allegedly admitted to illegal fishing, according to Interfax via the Russian Federal Security Service in occupied Crimea. According to Servant of the People MP Pavlo Melnik, the fisherman are identified as Serhey Khokha, Oleksiy Ivanov, Vasily Turkedzhi, and Maxim Terehov. The captain of the boat, who has not been identified, earlier admitted to illegal fishing.

Russian authorities have reported the fishermen’s claim that they have not been tortured or pressured into admitting guilt. Interfax writes that one of the fishermen admitted to knowing of the ban on net-fishing for Black Sea turbots, which was implemented in 2019 by a joint Russian-Ukrainian protocol on Azov Sea fishing practices.

Ukrainian law enforcement have begun an investigation into the illegal seizure of Ukrainian citizens by Russian authorities.