The crew of the Ukrainian Navy warship Slavutych prevented a hijacking attempt by armed persons in Sevastopol, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence said in a release today.
“Armed persons in a boat came to the ship but the crew repelled their attack. There was even an attempt to board the ship, capture her, including arms, and sailors,” the Ministry cited Capt. 2nd Rank Vitaliy Zvyahintsev, Commander of Surface Ships Brigade of the Ukrainian Navy, as saying.
On Monday, four Russian Navy ships blocked Ukrainian ships Ternopil and Slavutych inside the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, preventing them to leave the area and demanding that their crews surrender.
Now, the ships of the Russian Federation Black Sea Fleet continue blocking the Ukrainian Navy ships in Crimea. All the military units and ships of the Ukrainian Armed forces deployed in Crimea follow the orders of the Ministry of Defense and the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the release further read.
Tensions remain high as the skirmishing over the strategic Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea resumes between the Pro-Russian troops and Ukrainian soldiers. The Russian Armed Forces insist that their presence in the area is aimed solely at protecting Russian-speakers living there.
Earlier today, Ukrainian defence officials confirmed that the Air Force Command Center of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the control center of air traffic in the Black Sea area, headquartered in Sevastopol, has been blocked by the Russian troops and the so-called ‘Crimean self-defense troops’.
“The siege started on February 28. The units were put on full combat alert; the personnel received the arms and occupied posts following the combat order. The guard of military facilities was reinforced,” according to Col. Serhiy Vyshnevsky, Chief of Radio Technical Troops of Air Force of Ukrainian Armed Forces.
“Due to capacities and capabilities maneuvers, there are no gaps in radiolocation field. Now, we have all the information on air situation over the Ukrainian territory and control the traffic of all the aircrafts,” stressed Col. Serhiy Vyshnevsky.
Naval Today Staff, March 4, 2014; Image: Ukrainian MoD