Thursday, March 6, 2014

Russia sinks one of its own ships to block entrance to Black Sea

Yevpatoria, Ukraine: An anti-submarine boat may have been the first casualty of the Russian incursion into Crimea, but it was hardly an act of violence, much less war: The Russian navy sank one of its own, junked vessels to create an obstacle, a Ukrainian official said on Wednesday.

Ukraine Defence Ministry spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Alexei Mazepa said Russian sailors pulled the anti-submarine vessel Ochakov out of a naval junkyard and sank it in the straits that connect the Black Sea with a body of water known as Donuzlav Lake. He said the act was intended to prevent Ukrainian navy ships from leaving a nearby base and going to sea.

The sinking was the latest in a series of moves by Russian naval forces in the area that were jangling the nerves of Ukrainian officers.

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