Ukraine: Russia fired on our naval vessels

The Ukrainian military said that Russian boats had opened fire on its naval vessels off the coast of Crimea, escalating a standoff over the Kerch Strait, a waterway that links the Azov Sea with the Black Sea. CNN's Matthew Chance has more.

Posted: Nov 26, 2018 1:43 PM
Updated: Nov 26, 2018 1:58 PM

A few days after the fifth anniversary of Euromaidan -- the wave of demonstrations that kicked off in Ukraine in November 2013 -- vessels belonging to the Russian Coast Guard opened fire against three Ukrainian Navy ships, according to Ukraine's military, that were trying to pass through the Strait of Kerch.

Ukraine said the firefight ended with six of its servicemen wounded and Russian Special Operations Forces capturing the vessels, along with their crews of 23.

The captured ships and crews were then transported to a nearby Russian base.

The clash presents a dangerous new escalation in a conflict that has caused thousands of casualties and deaths since the 2014 illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia and the subsequent fighting that erupted in Eastern Ukraine.

While Russian President Vladimir Putin later admitted that Russian troops were present in Crimea, Sunday's hostilities are the first time that conflict has openly and undeniably taken place between Ukrainian forces and operatives flying the Russian flag since 2014.

The attack is the latest example of Russian aggression outside of its own borders. This year alone, that includes:

The timing of all this raises questions over Russian motives. In the short term, the upcoming G20 meeting in Buenos Aires -- which could have spurred dialogue between Western leaders and Putin -- might now become a show in which Putin takes center stage and bolster support at home.

Putin's popularity has dropped significantly recently. A public conflict with external powers, Ukraine and Western countries could prop up his image as protector of Russian interests.

The escalation also might have expressed Russian frustration over losing a main channels of influence in Ukraine. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church received the Eastern Orthodox Church's full recognition, or an autocephaly, thus removing the church from Moscow's rule.

In the long term, Ukraine is moving towards its parliamentary elections in October 2019. This attack, together with follow-up activities yet to be seen, could offer one avenue for the Kremlin to interfere with the elections -- and their results.

From a regional perspective, the attack against Ukrainian military vessels must be seen in this context. The Strait of Kerch -- with its recent bridge and considerable Russian military assets nearby -- allows slow strangling of a region in the Ukrainian government's hands between Crimea and South Eastern Ukraine. Both areas have fallen under occupation and non-government rule.

The latest Moscow provocation and its blatant disregard for international law must face unified international condemnation and punitive action. The international community cannot accept the further bending of international law and warped rules of the road that Putin keeps trying to establish.

Ukraine is now much better prepared to defend its interests than in 2014. But with the EU bogged down by the Brexit debacle and the US suffering its own internal problems since the midterm elections, who will lead the charge for a proper response to Russian aggression?

A proper response must consist of more than just harsh words and expressions of deep concerns. Further sanctions should be imposed on elements of the Russian economy and society that enable this aggression.

Ukraine should receive support in its full integration with the West.

Ukrainian forces also should be given military support, information sharing between allies, and training and exercises alongside NATO troops.

The US should consider enacting legislation, such as the Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act of 2018.

Without firm action with real consequences for Russia, Moscow will once again receive from the West the dangerous message that whatever it does, the worst it can expect is a slap on the wrist.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 554536

Reported Deaths: 7083
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1155051679
Ramsey47786853
Dakota42410422
Anoka38477415
Washington24913273
Stearns20994218
St. Louis16774297
Scott15946117
Wright14764127
Olmsted1273297
Sherburne1060080
Carver980145
Clay781289
Rice7632101
Blue Earth695840
Kandiyohi627380
Crow Wing615086
Chisago548250
Otter Tail542673
Benton530597
Mower450532
Goodhue442471
Douglas441870
Winona438149
Nobles400248
Morrison394659
McLeod394355
Isanti375159
Beltrami372257
Itasca370752
Polk365367
Steele361914
Becker353948
Lyon347848
Carlton329352
Freeborn326829
Pine311821
Nicollet306542
Brown294439
Mille Lacs281250
Le Sueur269722
Todd268730
Cass249626
Meeker235937
Waseca231221
Martin212529
Wabasha19953
Roseau197318
Renville172043
Hubbard171841
Dodge17123
Redwood166435
Houston162614
Cottonwood156821
Fillmore15169
Pennington150619
Chippewa145836
Wadena144021
Faribault143419
Sibley135710
Kanabec130621
Aitkin128636
Watonwan12549
Rock122719
Jackson117310
Yellow Medicine110419
Pipestone109725
Murray10229
Pope10226
Swift99518
Marshall85617
Stevens82010
Lake78419
Clearwater77414
Koochiching76913
Wilkin76812
Lac qui Parle73522
Big Stone5644
Lincoln5592
Grant5478
Norman5229
Mahnomen5048
Unassigned49578
Kittson46622
Red Lake3877
Traverse3595
Lake of the Woods3053
Cook1450

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 357796

Reported Deaths: 5821
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk55970604
Linn20297330
Scott19082234
Black Hawk15550306
Woodbury14897221
Johnson1404281
Dubuque13153202
Dallas1089196
Pottawattamie10747162
Story1031147
Warren555186
Clinton537390
Cerro Gordo521986
Webster508291
Sioux506073
Marshall477174
Muscatine459896
Des Moines441465
Wapello4253120
Buena Vista421740
Jasper407670
Plymouth397079
Lee368155
Marion354575
Jones293055
Henry286137
Bremer279260
Carroll279151
Crawford262040
Boone258533
Benton250355
Washington249550
Dickinson242043
Mahaska224850
Jackson217942
Kossuth212663
Clay211025
Tama206671
Delaware202839
Winneshiek194433
Page190321
Buchanan188831
Cedar183823
Fayette182941
Wright180435
Hardin179942
Hamilton178049
Harrison176373
Clayton167055
Butler162534
Mills158620
Cherokee157138
Floyd155342
Lyon154741
Madison153919
Poweshiek152733
Allamakee149051
Iowa145524
Hancock143534
Winnebago136031
Grundy135232
Cass134354
Calhoun133211
Jefferson130635
Emmet128840
Shelby128337
Sac127219
Louisa126849
Appanoose126747
Mitchell125241
Union124032
Chickasaw122615
Humboldt118326
Guthrie117929
Franklin112721
Palo Alto110922
Howard102822
Montgomery100637
Unassigned10030
Clarke98223
Keokuk94530
Monroe94128
Ida89633
Adair84532
Pocahontas83621
Monona81230
Davis79924
Greene76710
Osceola75516
Lucas74923
Worth7078
Taylor65212
Fremont6139
Decatur5899
Van Buren55518
Ringgold53623
Wayne52123
Audubon4949
Adams3284
Rochester/St. Mary'S
Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 36°
Mason City
Cloudy
44° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 35°
Albert Lea
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 37°
Austin
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 37°
Charles City
Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 39°
Tracking an arctic front, cooling us down for the workweek
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Electric car show

Image

Walk a Block

Image

Cleaning up Chester Woods

Image

Little Thistle collecting donations

Image

Rochester United PKG

Image

Grizzlies PKG

Image

Sara's Saturday Night Forecast

Image

April Tool's Day

Image

Byron baseball starts season strong

Image

Hayfield BB PKG

Community Events