The damage on one of three Ukrainian ships is seen docked after been seized ate Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in Kerch, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 26, 2018. The Ukrainian parliament is set to consider a presidential request for the introduction of martial law in Ukraine following an incident in which Russian coast guard ships fired on Ukrainian navy vessels. (AP Photo)

Russia to deploy more anti-aircraft missiles in Crimea

November 28, 2018 - 4:59 am
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KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — The Russian military is boosting the defense of the occupied Crimean peninsula with more anti-aircraft missiles in the wake of the weekend standoff with Ukrainian vessels in the Black Sea.

The Interfax news agency on Wednesday quoted Col. Vadim Astafyev, the top Defense Ministry official in Russia's south, as saying that Russia will add one S-400 anti-aircraft missile system to the three already deployed in the peninsula.

The announcement comes three days after Russian border guards fired on three Ukrainian vessels and seized them and their crews. The first overt military confrontation between the two neighboring countries has raised the specter of a major conflict.

Ukraine said its vessels were operating in line with international maritime rules, while Russia alleged they had failed to get permission to pass.

Ukrainian authorities on Wednesday released what they said is the exact location where its vessels were fired on by Russia, showing that they were in international waters.

The statement by Ukrainian officials contradicts Russia's argument that it was chasing the ships because they were violating its territorial waters. Russia considers Crimea, which it annexed in 2014, part of its country.

A court in Crimea on Tuesday ordered 12 of the 24 Ukrainian seamen held in custody. Others are expected to face the court later on Wednesday.

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