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The origins of the conflict in the Black sea

Ten regions of Ukraine will remain in a “state of war” until the end of December, following the seizure by Russia of three military vessels in waters near the C

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The origins of the conflict in the Black sea

Ten regions of Ukraine will remain in a “state of war” until the end of December, following the seizure by Russia of three military vessels in waters near the Crimea. These are the keys that explain the latest escalation of tension between Kiev and Moscow:

breaks out THE MAIDÁN. Between November 2013 and February 2014, a sector of the population of Ukraine went out to the streets to demand a treaty of association with the EU after the Government of president prorruso Víktor Yanukovych to suspend the signing of that agreement, and announced that he was going to improve, change, relations with Russia. The citizen revolution has just overthrown the regime, but separatist groups pro-Russian backed by Moscow start a counter-revolution in the eastern region of Donbás and self-proclaimed “republics popular” that today are a focus of war in Europe.

ANNEXATION OF the CRIMEA . In march 2014, Moscow decides to annex the peninsula of Crimea, after a majority of residents (58% are russians, 24% ukrainians and the rest are tatars, according to the census) voted in a referendum secessionist, qualified as illegal by Kiev. The Kremlin starts to consider it as your own territorial waters, Ukrainian around the coast (an area of 22 kilometres). Russia controls so the two sides of the strait of Kerch.

A BRIDGE OVER THE KERCH STRAIT. In may of 2018, Russia inaugurated a bridge connecting Crimea with the Russian territory of Krasnodar through the strait of Kerch.

CONFLICT ERUPTS IN AZOV . On THE 25th of November, a flotilla ukraine formed by two battleships and a tug made a voyage regularly from the port of Odessa, on the Black sea, to the port of Mariúpol, in the sea of Azov. To make this voyage, the ships must pass through the strait of Kerch. The crew had reported their cruise prior to their displacement, according to the version of Kiev.

NAVIGATION BLOCKED . Russia captures all three boats of ukraine, and caused two injured off the coast of Crimea. Moscow accuses Ukraine of violating its Betcup territorial waters and hang for a few hours sailing through the strait of Kerch.

ACTIONS “AGGRESSIVE,” . According to Kiev, coast guard service, border guard of the Russian Federation, took “aggressive actions against a vessel ukrainians” and fired at the sailors. The incident has been documented in several videos. According to Kiev, one of the coast guard russians lashed against the towing causing engine damage, dents and the loss of a liferaft.

Image and video of the incident between the coast guard and Russian fleet ukraine on the 25th of November. REUTERS / EPV

STRAIT OF PASSAGE. The Kerch strait is one of the points of passage for the boats that connect coastal areas of the west and the east of Ukraine. Since 2003, the navigation of these waters is regulated by a bilateral agreement between Russia and Ukraine, according to which this inland sea is jointly managed. He can move without restrictions to vessels of both countries, both merchant and military or other types, and also the ships guests of third States, including the war, with the prior agreement of both parties. This convention is still in force.

TERRITORIAL WATERS . In fact, since the annexation of the Crimea is impossible to cross the strait without navigating waters that Moscow considers Russian. The means of communication Russian, however, stress that the vessels will be placed in the “territorial waters” prior to the incorporation of the Crimea.

CURRENT SITUATION . The escalation of the war continues. The 23 sailors ukrainians detained in Moscow they are still imprisoned and has not been released to the fleet, as requested by NATO and the EU (the member States are torn between to relieve or increase the sanctions on the Kremlin). The Kremlin announced Wednesday the sending of more anti-aircraft missiles S-400 to the sea of Azov to strengthen your defenses.

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