'An arrogant act': United States slams Russian Federation as violent standoff with Ukraine intensifies

Ukrainian navy accuses Russia of seizing three ships after allegedly firing on them near Crimea

Sunday's incident has sparked global condemnation over Russia's use of force.

The increasingly fraught situation around the sea has unfolded in parallel to the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine, where fighting in recent years between Russian-backed separatists and the Ukrainian military has killed more than 10,000 people.

Their way through the strait was blocked by a Russian tanker placed under the new bridge connecting Russia with Crimea, which was completed earlier this year.

His comments came two days after Russian forces seized three Ukrainian ships and their crews in the Black Sea. This incident provides further evidence of Russia's violation of Ukraine's sovereignty.

The European Union called on Russian Federation to "restore freedom of passage at the Kerch Strait" and urged "all to act with utmost restraint".

Moscow has accused Kiev of planning Sunday's confrontation as a provocation aimed at drumming up support for Poroshenko ahead of elections next year and convincing Western governments to impose further sanctions on Russian Federation.

Russia's Deputy Ambassador Dmitry Polanski dismissed Ukraine's claims and blamed the scuffle on Kiev's aggression.

However, after the annexation of the Crimean peninsula by Russia in 2014, which violated several bilateral agreements between the two countries in addition to worldwide law, Western nations have protested increasing Russian control, which some media call "creeping annexation".

On Monday, the Ukrainian parliament voted to introduce martial law from Wednesday in select regions for 30 days, said the Ukrainian news agency Ukrinform, endorsing an emergency proposal introduced by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Meanwhile Russian military intelligence released footage in which a detained Ukrainian naval officer admits to provocative actions in the waterway. His approval ratings have been plunging, and there were concerns that he would postpone a presidential election scheduled for March.

"We see that Russian ships are stationed throughout the entire water area in the Sea of Azov, but particular concentration is seen in the Kerch Strait area".

Boca Juniors tear-gassed after bus windows broken
CONMEBOL President Alejandro Dominguez announced the decision Saturday, 10 minutes before the final was supposed to start. CONMEBOL's medical staff issued a statement declaring that there was no medical reason for the match to be suspended.

Putin told Merkel he was seriously concerned about Kiev's decision to put its armed forces on combat alert and impose martial law, telling Merkel he hoped Berlin would use its influence to stop Ukraine taking "further reckless steps".

Several countries have condemned Russia's actions on Monday, and the UN Security Council failed to agree a Russian-proposed agenda, and instead discussed a Ukrainian proposal on the issue.

The incident showed "the arrogant and open participation of regular units of Russian troops", he said in a television address to the nation, disparaging Moscow´s insistence that its forces were not directly involved in Ukraine.

A video filmed from aboard a Russian vessel shows Russians chasing the Ukrainian tugboat and ramming the vessel.

There was a unsafe escalation on Sunday in the long-running crisis between Ukraine and Russia, as the Russian coast guard attacked and seized three Ukrainian military ships and their crew. Tensions have been rising lately over the access to the Kerch Strait, where the incident took place, and the Sea of Azov.

As world leaders denounced Russia's aggression against Ukraine, President Donald Trump waited more than a day before offering a muted response about the clash, leaving the task of criticizing Moscow to the outgoing USA ambassador to the UN.

It said the Ukrainian action was coordinated with the United States and the European Union to "create a pretext to ramp up sanctions against Russia".

A vehicle is stopped at a checkpoint manned by Ukrainian police officers, in Berdyansk, south coast of Azov sea, eastern Ukraine, Nov. 27, 2018.

Earlier, the Russian envoy to the United Nations, Dmitriy Polyanskiy, said at a November 26 UN Security Council emergency session in NY that two SBU officers had been on board one of the Ukrainian military vessels trying to enter the Sea of Azov through the Russian-controlled Kerch Strait.

"While planning that provocation, Ukraine had undoubtedly hoped to get additional benefits from the situation, expecting the United States and Europe to blindly take the provocateurs' side", he added.

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