The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) is preparing large-scale provocations in the Sea of Azov, said the deputy chief of the operational command of the People’s Republic of Donetsk (RPD), Eduard Basurin.
According to him, the Ukrainian special services are preparing for early 2019 “various scenarios of provocations in the waters of the Sea of Azov”, including sinking of commercial vessels, “both Ukrainian and foreign.”
Under cover of escalating tensions, Ukrainian forces may try to invade the territory of Donetsk, said Basurin to the Donetsk news agency .
Collaborating Basurin’s claims of Kiev’s plans for aggression, a source in the Crimea told Sputnik that Ukraine is preparing a provocation in the Sea of Azov with the aim of defaming the Russian Border Guard.
“On October 11, agents of the Ukrainian Border Service plan to organize the departure of a patrol vessel from the port of Mariupol to the Sea of Azov with a group of Ukrainian media journalists on board,” the source said.
From this an incident will take place, the source claimed.
Recently, Crimean leader Sergei Aksenov reported that the Russian Border Guard has tightened control in the waters of the Black and Azov seas because of naval maneuvers by Ukrainian military personnel .
On March 25, the Russian fishing vessel Nord, which was sailing with the Russian flag flown by the Sea of Azov, was captured by the border guard of Ukraine and accompanied to the Ukrainian port of Berdyansk.
Five days later, a Ukrainian court ordered the arrest of the vessel. In turn, the captain of the Russian vessel was accused of “violating the rules of entry” in the Crimea, implying a sentence of up to five years in jail, while the crew was forbidden to leave the vessel.
Moscow has referred to the actions of Kiev as “maritime terrorism”, and ordered the strengthening of border control in its part of the Sea of Azov.
Subsequently, Kiev announced intersection to strengthen military presence in the Sea of Azov and to create a naval base in the region.