Lawyer: The Russian Authorities Are Not Putting Pressure on the Legal Team of the Arrested Ukrainian Sailors

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


The trial of the Ukrainian military sailors detained as a result of the Kerch incident takes place in strict accordance with Russian legislation; no pressure is being exerted by the authorities of the Russian Federation, said Ayder Azamatov – the lawyer of the arrested soldier Yury Budzyla.

“Concerning me and my colleagues, I do not feel any pressure, no such attempts have been made,” stressed Azamatov.

He also noted that even if the Ukrainian sailors would be defended by other lawyers, the interests of the detainees would all the same be properly ensured.

On November 25th near the Kerch Strait a grouping of three vessels of the Naval Forces of Ukraine was detained. They entered a zone forbidden for navigation and refused to obey the orders of the Russian border guards.

As the adviser to the Ukrainian president Yury Biryukov said, the Ukrainian ships opened fire at representatives of the border service of the FSB of the Russian Federation. The FSB, in turn, reported that were forced to shoot back at the Ukrainian ships, which is why three sailors were wounded.

After they were detained it became clear that the Ukrainian vessels carried weapons, including guns and grenade launchers. Two representatives of the Security Service of Ukraine were also detained on the vessels.

In the evening of November 26th the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine approved the decision of the National Security and Defense Council on the introduction of martial law in Ukraine in connection with the aggravation of the situation in the Sea of Azov. As a result, all elections and mass protests become prohibited.

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In the run-up to the presidential and parliament elections, which are planned for 2019, it will allow the president Petro Poroshenko and the coalition to keep power in the Rada.

Their approval ratings, according to the data of the latest opinion polls, do not allow them to remain at the helm of Ukraine via democratic procedures.

Although formally martial law has been imposed for a whole month, Poroshenko at any time can prolong it, note experts.

The aggravation of the situation near the Kerch Strait due to the provocation of the Ukrainian military and special services became the reason for the introduction of martial law.

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