Ukraine bans Russian men from entering the country

Ukraine bars entry to Russian men of fighting age

Male Russian citizens between the ages of 16 and 60 are to be banned from entering Ukraine, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko wrote on Twitter on November 30.

On Sunday, three Ukrainian naval ships attempting to sail through the Kerch Strait from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov were attacked and seized by Russian forces, which believed that the ships breached the Russian border.

With the return of Crimea, Russia now occupied both sides of Kerch Strait. "But I would like to assure you that I am part of the holy church and I do not recognize any other church", Father Pavlo said, speaking by the ornate gilded altar at one of the monastery's cathedrals.

With the the Kerch Strait crisis heating up, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has requested for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to assist Ukraine in the conflict, asking that they deploy naval vessels to the Sea of Azov. The US has not led the world in further sanctions against Moscow, and instead President Donald Trump has, until his last-minute cancellation of their G20 meeting, entertained a chummy one-on-one with Vladimir Putin.

The EU first slapped sanctions on Russian Federation after it annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Kyiv in 2014. The three vessels were detained in Russian territorial waters. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko Deputy Head of Security Service of Ukraine, Oleh Frolov speaks during a news conference on the Black Sea incident, which took place off Russian-annexed Crimea on November 25, in Kiev, Ukraine November 29, 2018.

Russian TV station Dozhd on Friday quoted Kogershyn Sagiyeva, a member of the Moscow oversight council that is allowed to inspect prisons, as saying that 21 seamen have been transferred to the Moscow Lefortovo jail while three other seamen are in a hospital in another jail.

"Putin wants nothing less but to occupy the sea", Poroshenko said.

The Ukrainian vessels - a tug and two gunboats - were trying to pass through the Kerch Strait from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov, but were refused access and chased into worldwide waters by 10 Russian vessels.

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The Moscow Patriarchate strongly denies this and says it is working to promote peace in Ukraine.

Russian military officials said Wednesday that Moscow would soon deploy more of its advanced S-400 air defence systems in Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

In response to Sunday's events, Poroshenko has imposed martial law in much of the country, a move that won parliamentary backing. A 2003 treaty gives both countries shared rights over the Kerch Straits, a narrow passage of water that separates Crimea from mainland Russian Federation, through which the Ukrainian ships had sought to pass.

The Kremlin, the resolution reads, must "immediately release all Ukrainian crew members and vessels and to cease its harassment of Ukrainian and global shipping transiting the Kerch Strait".

There are rumblings that Ukraine will call for the closure of the Bosphorus Strait to Russian Navy traffic as a result of Moscow's recent acts, which would cut off the Black Sea Fleet from the Mediterranean.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she plans to press Russian President Vladimir Putin at this weekend's G-20 summit in Argentina to urge the release of the ships and crews. One of the Russian warships rammed the Ukraine boat.

The state-run TASS news agency also reported Friday the captured sailors will remain in jail for two months during an investigation. The Azov Sea is mostly extremely shallow: Russian submarines and warships of the Black Sea Fleet can not operate there effectively, while the U.S. and its allies have some modern well-armed warships capable of operating in the coastal littoral.

Ukraine's foreign ministry sent Moscow a diplomatic note in protest at the "illegal" detentions.

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