Russia-Ukraine sea clash in 300 words

European Council president Donald Tusk attends a news conference after the extraordinary EU leaders summit to finalise and formalise the Brexit agreement in Brussels Belgium

Ukrainian navy accuses Russia of seizing three ships after allegedly firing on them near Crimea

Ukraine said its vessels were heading to the Sea of Azov in line with worldwide maritime rules, while Russia charged that they had failed to obtain permission to pass through the Kerch Strait separating Crimea from the Russian mainland.

The videos released by the FSB security service shows the three seamen - identified as Andriy Drach, Serhiy Tsybizov and Volodymyr Lisoviy - saying they were aware of the "provocative nature" of their actions.

With Ukraine´s military on high alert, images of several captured sailors were broadcast on Russia´s state-run channel Rossiya 24 showing interrogations by Moscow´s security services. "Russian authorities must return Ukrainian sailors, vessels & refrain from further provocations", Tusk tweeted, adding: "Europe will stay united in support of Ukraine".

His call came as Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Ukraine against any "reckless acts" after Kiev declared martial law in response to Moscow's seizure of three of its navy vessels.

The news revived memories of Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula previously controlled by Ukraine, and raised further concerns over Russia's territorial ambitions.

Britain on Monday condemned Russia's "act of aggression" against Ukrainian ships in the Kerch Strait off the coast of the Kremlin-annexed Crimea peninsula.

In a speech on Tuesday, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Moscow must respect worldwide law and territorial sovereignty.

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Romanenko, former Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, said Ukraine will not "sit idle" and will "defend their positions" if necessary.

Russian news agencies quoted port officials in Crimea as saying the strait was reopened to traffic early on Monday.

'There is also information that two Ukrainian sailors have been injured'.

The Kerch Strait is the only passage into the Sea of Azov beyond it.

In his first public remarks since the confrontation, President Donald Trump did not specifically call out Russia's behavior. "And hopefully it will get straightened out", Trump told reporters as he left the White House.

"I know those sailors from Nikopol".

A Russian ship is reported to have opened fire on a Ukrainian vessel, while another was caught on video ramming a Ukrainian tug boat off the Crimean coast Sunday.

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Critics nonetheless remained unconvinced, warning that the measure was a threat to democracy and noting that even during far more serious moments during the four-year conflict with Russia, Ukraine had never previously needed to impose martial law.

Russian Federation seized three Ukrainian ships after firing on them near the annexed Crimean peninsula on Sunday (Nov 25), threatening a risky escalation in the crisis between the two countries and prompting Kiev to put its forces on full combat alert. The FSB said only three had suffered non-life threatening injuries and were given medical treatment.

Five of the 10 regions border Russia while two are adjacent to Moldova's breakaway Trans-Dniester region, where Russian troops are stationed.

A Reuters witness in Kerch, a Crimean port, said the Ukrainian vessels were being held there on November 26.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said any Russian "blockade" of the Sea of Azov was "unacceptable" and proposed French-German mediation to resolve the crisis. The Foreign Ministry also said it warned Ukraine and "its Western sponsors" many times about "the dangers of artificially inflated hysteria" in the Azov Sea and at the Kerch Strait.

"Hence, there are no Russian borders in the area where the incident happened".

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