The tensions between Russia-Ukraine war have been running high since 2014. The conflict started in Kyiv with the revolution that overthrew President Viktor Yanukovych. Then, Russia sent troops into Crimea, which resulted in a war between the two countries. Although there has been some improvement since then, tensions remain high over control of land and water borders. A recent incident involving three Ukrainian navy ships highlights how volatile this situation remains today:
Russian and Ukrainian navies clash off Crimea.
Russia has been accused of violating international law after its warships clashed with Ukrainian vessels off the coast of Crimea.
The incident on Sunday saw Russian vessels ramming into three Ukrainian boats, injuring six sailors, and detaining them for several hours before releasing them back to Ukraine’s mainland.
Moscow says it was acting following “existing agreements,” but Kyiv insists that there are no such agreements between the two countries.
The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea states that all nations have a right to freedom of navigation for their military ships through international waters, but only if they respect other countries’ rights.
Russia about to run out of steam in Ukraine
While Russia has been able to keep the conflict simmering, it has not yet been able to escalate the war in Ukraine. The Russian military has not made any major advances since it intervened in 2015. But now, Russia seems to be running out of steam.
The Kremlin’s actions in Ukraine have cost a lot of money and resources, but they have little chance of ending with a decisive victory for Moscow or Kyiv. Instead, both sides are stuck in an endless cycle of violence, draining their strength and preventing them from achieving their goals.
According to analysts at RAND Corp., “the conflict will continue as long as Moscow does not want it over.”
Russia blocks 3 Ukrainian navy ships in Kerch Strait.
In a statement on Thursday, the Russian Foreign Ministry accused Ukraine of provoking a conflict and violating the agreement that regulates passage through the strait.
Russia said it had blocked three Ukrainian navy ships in Kerch Strait because they were trying to enter Russian waters.
The confrontation was one of the most serious since Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and raised concerns about a wider escalation involving multiple countries.
The US renews Ukraine sanctions citing Russian ‘aggression.’
The United States has expanded sanctions against Russia, citing its “aggression” in Ukraine.
The move will affect the country’s energy, defense, and finance sectors. The sanctions come after President Donald Trump met his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Monday at a summit in Helsinki.
- The new restrictions include:
- Individuals and entities operating within certain sectors of the Russian economy;
- Those who are engaged in activities that undermine cybersecurity or interfere with democratic processes;
- People involved in the illicit trade of goods from Crimea;
Russia accuses Ukraine of provocation.
Russia accused Ukraine of provocation in the Kerch Strait, citing an incident where a Ukrainian boat rammed a Russian coast guard vessel. Moscow also said it would take measures to secure its border with Ukraine.
Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) opened a criminal investigation into the incident after accusing Ukrainian ships of ramming two ships trying to stop them from entering Russian territorial waters near Crimea.
The FSB released images that showed how Russia’s coast guard vessels were being rammed and fired upon by Ukrainian warships as they tried to prevent them from entering Russian territorial waters in the Black Sea.
It said one of its officers was injured in the incident and required hospital treatment, while three crew members could not leave their ship because they were surrounded by other Ukrainian vessels.
Russia and Ukraine have been in a bitter battle since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea, an eastern peninsula in Ukraine. The conflict has seen the two countries trade accusations of aggression and provocation as they seek to gain more territory.