After a naval confrontation off Crimea with Russia, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko asked NATO to send ships to the Sea of Azov. At least 11 Russian vessels surrounded Ukraine’s two ships opening fire on Sunday. Russia announced on Wednesday it will send another advanced anti-aircraft system to the area. NATO expressed ‘full support’ for Ukraine.
Ukraine’s parliament has agreed to impose martial law in 10 of its provinces to combat “growing aggression from Russia,” after a weekend confrontation in waters off the disputed Crimean Peninsula led Russia to seize three Ukrainian navy vessels. The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Monday with a “warning” to Ukraine that naval conflict in the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea “is fraught with serious consequences.”
Nato has joined a chorus of Western calls for Russia and Ukraine to show restraint as the UN security council prepares to meet amid a dangerous new crisis between the countries and fears of a wider military escalation. Russia reopened the Kerch strait separating Crimea from the Russian mainland early on Monday after its FSB security service said border patrol boats had fired on and seized three Ukrainian naval ships a day earlier, wounding several crew members.
More than 12,000 people were evacuated following an explosion on Tuesday at a depot in northern Ukraine caused by ammunition. Security services said ‘possible sabotage’ was being investigated at the depot near the village of Druzhba. More than 60 people needed medical attention after the explosion, though no deaths were reported.