Ukraine says Russian Federation returned ships in bad condition

Daniel Fowler
November 21, 2019

When asked by reporters whether it was possible to restore cooperation with Russian Federation in the defense industry when the war in Donbas is over or "should we also wait for return of Crimea", Zelensky noted that he liked in general the mindset when people think what would happen when the war is over.

In September, Russia released 24 captured Ukrainian crew members as part of a wider Ukrainian-Russian prisoner swap negotiated between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine's new president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy - who was elected on a platform of ending a war in east Ukraine that has killed some 13,000 Ukrainians over the past five years.

Russia seized the ships and crew amid a firefight off the coast of Crimea in November of past year - arguing the Ukrainian vessels had illegally entered what had become de facto Russian territorial waters following the Kremlin's annexation of the peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.

"The Ukrainian ships returned home".

The Ukranian ships were passing through the Sea of Azov - a shared territory that Moscow has continually tried to claim after seizing the peninsula in 2014.

The FSB published video of the Yanu Kapu tugboat and the Berdyansk and Nikopol artillery boats it said it filmed during the handover.

Russia's agreement to return the ships had initially been seen as marking an improvement in the relationship between the two countries.

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The ships arrived, with great fanfare, in the port of Odessa late in the evening, setting off a welcoming ceremony attended by President Volodymyr Zelensky.

"I want to counter any possible manipulations right away - tanks will not be able to pass over the bridge as it is too narrow". I noticed the condition and there will be an investigation. "'We must not listen to Russian disinformation", he noted.

Mr Zelensky said the ships would resume their service after undergoing repairs, which are expected to take about three months.

Ukrainian navy chief Vice Admiral Ihor Voronchenko told Ukrainian television's "4th channel" the ships had not yet reached Ukrainian territorial waters because they were being towed so slowly.

"They do not go on their own".

"They even took the ceiling lights, plug sockets, and lavatories", he said. "We will show the whole world the Russian barbarism towards them".

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