Not only weapons, but also household items: equipment disappeared from Ukrainian ships returned by Russia
The president of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky arrived in the city of Ochakov of the Nikolaev area and examined returned Russian warships — tug "Yany Kapu", as well as small armored artillery boats "Nikopol" and "Berdyansk", writes Air force.
“I am very glad that our military boats are in place. As promised, we returned our sailors, returned our boats ”, — Zelensky said, speaking to the assembled. Together with him, ships met 17 seamen released in September.
Ukrainian warships and an 24 member of their crews were detained by Russian authorities near the Kerch Strait on 25 on November 2018. The sailors were accused of illegally crossing the Russian border and arrested. They returned to Ukraine on September 7 as part of an exchange of held persons between Moscow and Kiev. To achieve the release of the sailors was one of Zelensky's campaign promises.
Speaking in Ochakovo, Zelenskiy noted that the ships partially lack equipment and weapons. He promised to turn to the Russian side about this. On the eve, the commander of the Ukrainian Navy, Igor Voronchenko, said that the Russians had “ruined” Berdyansk and Nikopol, “even removed the plafonds, sockets and toilets.”
Former chief military prosecutor Anatoly Matios on the eve published an unofficial report on the state of Ukrainian ships. It indicates that not only weapons and walkie-talkies disappeared from them, but also household items such as toilets, lanterns and a stove.
Anatoly Matios, who headed the main military prosecutor’s office until September, wrote on Facebook that military prosecutors are involved in inspecting the ships.
He listed the damage sustained by the Berdyansk boat and the Yany Kapu tugboat during a clash with Russian border guards and military personnel near the Kerch Strait in November 2018.
In particular, in "Berdyansk" the wheelhouse, engine room and toilet were pierced. Also, according to the publication, the left main engine was pierced by shrapnel and the recognition system was damaged.
The tugboat Yana Kapu, which was hit by a larger Russian border ship Don, has a damaged bulwark and a part of the mast is missing. No combat damage was reported to the Nikopol boat.
What is missing
Matios said that all documents, ammunition and small arms disappeared from both boats, but at the same time a 30-millimeter artillery mount was preserved on the Nikopol and there was no visible damage on it.
Radio stations, in particular the American Harris, as well as Motorola and ICOM, disappeared from all three ships.
Both boats lack Iridium space communications stations and Furuno radar stations.
Fire extinguishers, lanterns, an emergency buoy, an inflatable motor boat, batteries for equipment, a toilet bowl and a stove from the galley also disappeared from Nikopol.
And the boat "Berdyansk" lost a ventilation hood, a flow heater and a fecal system that removes sewage from the latrine.
On the Yana Kapu tug, there are no pieces of equipment, such as cables, sockets and shades, and all the instruments in the wheelhouse are, as indicated, “open and torn apart”. A plaster with a sliding stop is installed in the engine room — obviously there was a tugboat there.
Matios, among other things, said that before taking the ships, they were examined by Ukrainian divers. Journalist Andrei Tsaplienko explained that this was done to identify possible damage and explosive devices.
One of the sailors, Andrei Eider, confirmed on his Facebook page the fact of the disappearance of the stove and shades and added that even part of the sailors' personal underwear sets had disappeared.
The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine did not officially publish the list of damages and missing property, saying only that, according to available information, “the Russians dismantled some communications and navigation equipment on the captured ships”.
What they say in Russia
Information appeared in the Russian media with reference to sources in the FSB that Russia returned the ships without personal weapons of sailors, ammunition and radio stations, because they are evidence in a criminal case.
The FSB, in turn, claims that the ships were transferred in good condition and with good plumbing. This is stated in a video distributed by the FSB Public Relations Center, Interfax reports.
In the published video, the ships were shot outside and inside at the time of the transfer to the Ukrainian side and the procedure for signing acts of transfer and acceptance was fixed.
“If during the transition from the Crimean coast to Ochakov the Ukrainian side managed to ditch the ships and bring the plumbing to an inadequate state, then this is the problem of the Ukrainian side directly,” — added to the department.
As ForumDaily wrote earlier:
- On the morning of November 25, 2018, the Ukrainian small armored boats “Berdyansk” and “Nikopol”, as well as the tugboat “Yany Kapu” began the planned transition from Odessa to Mariupol. At the Kerch Strait, they were met by Russian border ships, one of which rammed a Ukrainian tug. As a result, the Russian frontier guards with shooting captured three Ukrainian ships in the Kerch Strait area and captured 24 Ukrainian military.
- As stated in the FSB, they illegally crossed the Russian border and did not respond to the requirement to stop. The Ukrainian Navy said they had warned the Russian side in advance about the transition, but the Russian border guards did not respond to the message of the Ukrainian ships.
- The Ukrainian authorities accused Russia of aggression. After this incident on November 26, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine voted in favor of imposition of martial law for 30 days in the 10 regions of the country and in the inland waters of the Azov-Kerch water area.
- November 29 US President Donald Trump canceled the meeting with the head of Russia Vladimir Putin, which was to be held in Argentina on the sidelines of the G20 summit. The reason for the cancellation was the situation with the Ukrainian ships captured in the Kerch Strait, explained Trump in his microblog Twitter.
- The release of the sailors was also demanded by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron. But then all the efforts of international diplomats did not bring results.
- April 16 Ukraine 2019 appealed to the maritime tribunal with a request to take urgent action in relation to Russia, in order to free the Ukrainian sailors and ships seized in the Kerch Strait.
- International Tribunal for Maritime Law 25 May He has made a decisionin which he ordered Russia to immediately release two Ukrainian warships and an auxiliary vessel, as well as 24 Ukrainian sailors, captured near the Kerch Strait in November 2018.
- What awaits Russia for violating the decision of the tribunal is difficult to say, because, according to lawyer Ilya Novikov, “no one has yet decided to violate the order of the UN tribunal".
- 7 September, after lengthy negotiations took place exchange of held persons between Russia and Ukraine. The parties handed each other over 35 people, including all detained sailors.
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