Tensions flared Sunday in the Black Sea as Russia and Ukraine traded accusations in a situation that escalated over the course of the day.
As of Sunday afternoon, Ukraine’s navy said Russia fired on what Ukraine said was a small armored artillery ship, the U.K. Independent reported.
At least one person was wounded, according to Britain’s Sky News.
Ukraine also accused Russia of ramming into a boat off the coast of Crimea, which Russia forcefully annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
Those who follow Ukraine and Russia know this has been building for over a year and could be the key crisis the current administration has not yet faced. The US government’s crisis-action processes and decision-making will be tested.
— Mark Hertling (@MarkHertling) November 25, 2018
According to the Ukrainian navy, the Yana Kapu tug suffered damage to its engine, the BBC reported.
The Ukrainian navy accused Russia of “openly aggressive actions” that took place when the tug and two other ships sailed from Odessa, which is on the Black Sea, to Mariupol, which is a port in the Sea of Azov
Russia in turn accused Ukraine of “provocative actions,” according to the U.K. Guardian.
Russia earlier said the ships were trying “to create a conflict situation in this region.”
The ships “illegally entered a temporarily closed area of Russian territorial waters,” it said.
— MrRevinsky (@Kyruer) November 25, 2018
The Ukrainian navy said Russia was alerted about the ships’ plans beforehand.
“Russian coastguard vessels… carried out openly aggressive actions against Ukrainian navy ships,” the Ukrainian navy statement said.
Russia later blocked access to the Sea of Azov with a mammoth cargo ship that is placed beneath Russian-built bridge across Kerch Strait, the Guardian reported. The strait is the only access to the Sea of Azov.
— ITV News (@itvnews) November 25, 2018
Ukraine said the vessels involved in the incident were seeking access to the Sea of Azov.
Unconfirmed reports said all three had been captured by Russia.
Russia, meanwhile, was alleging that Ukraine was sending naval reinforcements to the area.
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