Russia has imposed restrictions on navigation in about 70% of the Sea of Azov and announced an artillery fire drill will be held in areas close to Mariupol, Berdyansk and Henichesk, the press service of the Ukrainian Navy’s command has said on Facebook.
“Russia continues provocative actions against Ukraine. As of December 10, the Russian Federation has blocked about 70% of the Azov Sea. The Russians have currently issued navigational warnings restricting navigation in certain areas, allegedly in connection with an artillery fire drill to be held in areas near Mariupol, Berdyansk and Henichesk,” the statement said.
According to the report, this occurs systematically and impedes free navigation in the Sea of Azov. The announcement by Russia of navigational warnings in the Sea of Azov in the immediate vicinity of Ukrainian Navy bases and civilian ports is an open provocation.
The press service also stressed that such actions by the aggressor once again demonstrate Russia’s efforts to turn the Sea of Azov into its “inland lake.”
Russia’s Federal Security Service on December 9 said that the Ukrainian ship Donbas was heading for the Kerch Strait. The press service of Ukraine’s Joint Forces Operation said such statements by Russia’s FSB were false, adding that the Ukrainian Navy’s ship Donbas performed tasks in its territorial waters and did not enter “sensitive areas” and was now returning to its base. Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said such reports from Russia were an information attack.