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25 Jul, 2019 12:45

Ukraine’s security service publishes VIDEO of operatives seizing Russian tanker

Ukraine’s security service publishes VIDEO of operatives seizing Russian tanker

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has published a video showing its troops boarding a Russia-flagged oil tanker. The tanker allegedly blocked the passage of Ukrainian Navy ships in the Kerch Strait last November.

The Russian-flagged ship ‘Nika Spirit’ was detained by the SBU and military prosecutors after it moored at the port of Izmail in southwestern Ukraine, the agency said on Thursday. Video footage released later in the day shows a Ukrainian boat circling the vessel, and troops boarding.

Ukrainian authorities have searched the ship, seized her logs and communication records, and interviewed her crew. While the Ukrainians’ next move is unclear, the detention comes at a critical time for Ukraine-Russia relations, with both countries in talks about the release of 24 Ukrainian sailors imprisoned in Russia.

Reportedly called the ‘Neyma’ at the time, the ‘Nika Spirit’ allegedly blocked the passage of several Ukriainan Navy ships through the Black Sea’s Kerch Strait and into the Russian Sea of Azov last November, after the ships were involved in a confrontation with Russian vessels. 

Also on rt.com Ukraine seizes Russian tanker allegedly blocking its ships in Kerch Strait

With their path into the Sea of Azov allegedly blocked by the Neyma, the Ukrainian ships doubled back, and were seized by the Russian coast guard en route back to port in Odessa.

Moscow accused Kiev of provoking its forces, while Kiev denied that its ships had violated Russia’s border, with the then-president, Petro Poroshenko, calling the seizure “an act of aggression.”

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