KIEV, Ukraine – The chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, General Viktor Muzhenko, accused Russia of using not only the naval force against the Ukrainian ships in the Kerch Strait, but also aviation. In this connection, a Russian military expert explains why these statements are unfounded.
According to General Viktor Muzhenko, Ukrainian ships in the Kerch Strait were attacked by Russian aviation, which allegedly fired missiles at them.
In particular, Muzhenko stated during his speech in the Ukrainian parliament, quoted by the Ukrainian portal UNN, that a Russian Su-30 fighter fired two missiles at the Ukrainian crews.
“We received additional information today that during the attack on Ukrainian ships, Russian aviation was also used. One Su-30 launched two missiles,” the general said.
As a result of the Russian attack using weapons, the Ukrainian Navy Command lost contact with the naval group, the general claimed. The Automatic Identification System (AIS) has also been blocked.
“These actions are an act of direct aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, since the ships are sovereign territory of the State to which they belong,” he said.
Commenting on the statements by the chief of staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, in a comment to the Izvestia newspaper, Russian military expert Igor Korotchenko evaluated the words of the Ukrainian military.
“It is utter stupidity, because if a Su-30 had launched a missile, nothing would have been left of this Ukrainian ship. The three ships of the Ukrainian Navy arrived at Kerch on their own under the protection of the FSB Coast Guard [Federal Security Service], and docked there, there were no missile launches,” said the expert.
In addition, he pointed out that the anti-aircraft missiles of the Su-30 fighter may sink a destroyer, let alone a small vessel, and that is why he dismissed the statements of the Ukrainian general.
“This is a lie and a conscious provocation, or incompetence of the Ukrainian generals,” added Korotchenko.
On November 25, three Ukrainian navy ships, Berdyansk, Nikopol and Yany Kapu, crossed Russia’s maritime border, thereby violating international law and the country’s sovereignty. The vessels entered temporarily closed waters and carried out dangerous maneuvers for several hours without reacting to the Russian Coast Guard’s demands to stop its activity.
As a result, all Ukrainian ships were detained. In the course of the incident, three Ukrainian military officers were slightly injured. Nevertheless, they received medical care and were not at risk of losing their life.
Subsequently, Russia opened a criminal case for breach of the border.