Russia – Ukraine Issue

UN: Russia must free Ukraine ships, crew

A United Nations maritime tribunal has ruled that Russia must immediately release three Ukrainian naval vessels captured in November, and the 24 sailors it detained. Geir Moulson Australian Associated Press The Canberra Times The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea issued its order at its Hamburg headquarters following a hearing earlier this month. Russian representatives did not attend. The confrontation in the Kerch Strait, which links the Sea of Azov with the Black Sea, marked a flashpoint in ... Read More »

Getting Aid to Separatist-held Ukraine

The front lines in eastern Ukraine are slowly freezing in place, as is civilian deprivation in the conflict zone. Anna Arutunyan ICG An embargo, bureaucracy and distrust conspire to keep humanitarian aid out. Russia and Ukraine should find politically neutral ways to unblock the flow of assistance. After five years of war, a humanitarian crisis drags on in the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics (L/DPR), the parts of eastern Ukraine nominally governed by Russian-backed separatists. More than 3.5 million ... Read More »

ITLOS to make decision on Ukraine’s lawsuit against Russia on May 25

(MENAFN – UkrinForm) The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), which on May 10 heard Ukraine’s lawsuit against Russia regarding the illegal seizure of three Ukrainian military vessels and… MENAFN ITLOS President Jin-Hyun Paik said this at a hearing on Friday, according to an Ukrinform correspondent. At the end of the hearing, Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister Olena Zerkal announced Ukraine’s demand that Russia immediately release the vessels and return them to Ukraine, suspend… Russia refused to participate ... Read More »

In presidential vote, Ukraine looks east

Russian-speaking candidate wants to undo ‘Russophobic’ turn in Ukrainian politics. Vijai Maheshwari Politico Since Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union, political power in the country has always shifted between the Ukrainian-speaking, western part of the country and the Russian-speaking east. Then Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea in 2014 and kicked off a brutal war in eastern Ukraine later that year. After that, it seemed, ordinary Ukrainians closed ranks against their aggressive neighbor. Patriotism and love of Ukrainian culture and ... Read More »

Russia-Ukraine War: Kiev’s Navy Says ‘We Will Be Ready’ and Prepared to Use ‘Weapons’ If Moscow Attacks Again

One month after Russia attacked three Ukrainian navy ships in the Kerch Strait, Ukraine’s navy chief said his country was prepared to defend its sovereignty from its bigger neighbor and exert its freedom to navigate in the… Cristina Maza Newsweek “There’s a war going on, initiated by Russia…and this war is raging at the sea too, since 2014. Whether we want and don’t want to lay low at bases and offices; we have to fulfill our duties regarding the… And the ... Read More »

Ukraine moves to sever Orthodox Church link with Russia

Moscow: Ukraine has taken a major step towards establishing its own, autonomous Orthodox Church, setting the stage for increased tensions with Russia by altering a centuries-old religious tradition under which the… Neil MacFarquhar The Canberra Times / The New York Times Some 190 bishops, priests and other church figures spent the day closeted in St Sophia’s Cathedral in downtown Kiev to elect the newly unified Ukrainian church’s head, Metropolitan Epiphanius. He is scheduled to travel in January to Istanbul, the ... Read More »

Ukraine-Russia clash: Nato’s dilemma in the Black Sea

Does crisis beckon in the Black Sea? Could Russia and Nato even come to blows? Jonathan Marcus BBC That – at least for now – is probably unlikely. But the recent seizure of two Ukrainian gunboats and a tug in the approaches to the Kerch Strait, by vessels of the Russian Border Guard, has inevitably brought security in the Black Sea to the forefront of Nato’s agenda at their meeting in Brussels on Tuesday. The Black Sea has long had ... Read More »

Ukraine urges Nato to deploy ships amid standoff with Russia off Crimea coast

‘Put Putin in his place,’ Kiev diplomat tells Germany Tom Embury-Dennis Independent Ukraine’s president has urged Nato to deploy naval ships to the Sea of Azov amid a stand-off with Russia. “We hope that states within Nato are now ready to relocate naval ships to the Sea of Azov in order to assist Ukraine and provide security,” Petro Poroshenko said in an interview with German newspaper Bild. Mr Poroshenko’s request comes after the Russian coastguard on Sunday fired on and seized three Ukrainian vessels trying to pass through the Kerch Strait, which separates Russia’s mainland and ... Read More »

Goodbye Grotius, Hello Putin

Russia’s provocations in the Kerch Strait aren’t just a challenge to Ukraine. Like Beijing in the South China Sea, Moscow is seeking to undermine international maritime law. James R. Holmes FP Sunday’s encounter between Russian and Ukrainian vessels in the Kerch Strait, the entryway to the Sea of Azov east of the Crimean peninsula, revived an age-old question in international politics: Can a coastal nation own the sea? International law says no; authoritarian states such as China and Russia say ... Read More »

Merkel warns ’no military solution’ to Ukraine conflict

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday there is “no military solution” to the Ukraine conflict after President Petro Poroshenko asked for NATO naval support in his country’s standoff with… BERLIN – AFP Berlin Blaming Russia for the tensions, Merkel said: “We ask the Ukrainian side too to be sensible because we know that we can only solve things through being reasonable and through dialogue because there is no… Russia fired on and then seized three Ukrainian ships on Sunday, accusing them of illegally entering its waters in ... Read More »

The Coming War over Ukraine?

The danger of escalation is real and must be treated as such On November 25, Russian warships attacked and seized three Ukrainian navy boats that tried to cross the Kerch Strait. Jonas J. Driedger The National Interest The Ukrainian navy reports that Russian vessels opened fire and wounded at least six Ukrainian naval officers. On the same day, Ukrainian President Poroshenko and his Military Cabinet passed a resolution to impose martial law in Ukraine. The Ukrainian parliament is scheduled to decide on ... Read More »

Ukraine imposes martial law after Russia seizes naval ships

Seizure of Ukrainian military boats marks ‘a new stage of aggression’, says president The Irish Times Ukraine on Monday imposed martial law for 30 days in parts of the country most vulnerable to an attack from Russia after president Petro Poroshenkowarned of the “extremely serious” threat of a land invasion. Mr Poroshenko said martial law was necessary to bolster Ukraine’s defences after Russia seized three Ukrainian naval ships and took their crews prisoner at the weekend. Parliament approved the introduction of martial law after ... Read More »

Tensions Flare as Ukraine Says Russia Fired on Its Ships

Tensions escalated late Sunday as Ukraine accused Russia of attacking its navy near Crimea. By Aliaksandr Kudrytski , Daryna Krasnolutska , and Ilya Arkhipov Bloomberg Russian warships opened fire on a group of Ukrainian military vessels that had previously tried to enter the Kerch Strait near the disputed peninsula, Ukraine’s Navy said on Facebook. Two men were wounded as the Russians “fired to kill,” according to the statement. Ukraine said three of its ships were captured. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called an emergency cabinet meeting ... Read More »

Biggest split in modern Orthodox history: Russian Orthodox Church breaks ties with Constantinople

In the biggest rift in modern Orthodox history, the Russian Orthodox Church has cut all ties with the Constantinople Patriarchate, effectively splitting from it after it granted independence to the… RT The Holy Synod, the governing body of the Russian Orthodox Church, has ruled that any further clerical relations with Constantinople are impossible, Metropolitan Hilarion, the head of the… “A decision about the full break of relations with the Constantinople Patriarchate has been taken at a Synod meeting” that is currently ... Read More »

US imposes sanctions on China for buying Russian weapons

The US has imposed sanctions on the Chinese military over its purchasing of Russian military jets and surface-to-air missiles. BBC It says such purchases contravene US sanctions on Moscow introduced over Russian actions in Ukraine and alleged interference in US politics. China recently bought 10 Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets and S-400 missiles. Beijing has not joined in the sanctions imposed on Moscow by the US and its Western allies since 2014. Relations between the US and Russia deteriorated rapidly ... Read More »

Putin warns of ‘consequences’ if Nato develops closer ties with Georgia and Ukraine

Russian president says Moscow will ‘respond appropriately to such aggressive steps’ Tom Embury-Dennis Independent Vladimir Putin has warned Nato of “consequences” if the western military alliance cultivates closer ties with Ukraine and Georgia. The Russian president said such a policy, which he branded “aggressive” and “irresponsible”, was a direct threat to the country’s national security. Speaking to Russian diplomats in Moscow, Mr Putin condemned what he said was Nato’s attempts to deploy new bases and military infrastructure near Russia’s borders, adding there was a… Putin warns of… Read More »