Ukraine votes on martial law after Russian Federation seizes ships

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The Nikopol gunboat (left) and the Yany Kapu tugboat of the Ukrainian navy are tugged to the Kerch Seaport.

Russia reopened the Kerch strait separating Crimea from the Russian mainland early on Monday morning after its FSB security service said border patrol boats had fired on and seized three Ukrainian naval ships a day earlier, wounding several seamen.

After the incident in the Black Sea when a Russian coast guard vessel rammed a Ukrainian navy tugboat, Moscow begins deployment of its troops to an area of Kerch bridge. That bottleneck has become narrower since Russia built a road bridge to connect the Russian region of Krasnodar to Crimea. Ukraine, along with almost every other country in the world, refuses to recognize that claim. Kyiv says at least of its six sailors were injured in the gunfire. The boats were towed to a nearby port.

Ukraine president Petro Poroshenko called a cabinet meeting and is communicating with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the European Union (EU) regarding the tensions, according to Bloomberg.

Poroshenko described the incident as open Russian aggression and said he planned to ask parliament to approve the imposition of martial law.

The move may be unpopular in some quarters in Ukraine since it would restrict civil liberties and give state institutions greater power ahead of a presidential election next year which polls indicate Poroshenko would lose.

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Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko will be holding a war cabinet this evening, reports state.

Trump has not commented on the incident.

"It is introduced with the sole objective of boosting Ukraine's defence in the light of a growing aggression from Russian Federation".

The United States, a key ally of Ukraine, is opposed to Russia's takeover of Crimea and is looking to reduce Ukraine's dependency on Russian gas pipelines.

The agency, known as the FSB, said in a statement on Sunday night "there is irrefutable evidence that Kiev prepared and orchestrated provocations ... in the Black Sea".

Ukraine's foreign ministry said the "aggressive actions" were a violation of global law that would be met with "an worldwide and diplomatic legal response". The European Union echoed the latter sentiment.

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The conflict ended with the capture of the enemy ships that are now trapped in Russian territorial waters.

On photos Russian Navy ship DON ramming Ukrainian tug; tanker blocking Kerch Strait fairway.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley called Russia's actions an "outrageous violation". Shipping via Kerch Strait nevertheless, as of 1700 UTC, remains blocked, already creating huge queues of merchant ships both in Azov and in Black seas.

Russian Federation has rejected Western calls to free Ukrainian ships and sailors and to unblock access to the Azov Sea, while trumpeting its alternative account of the crisis.

Russian state television on Monday aired images of Ukrainian sailors held by Moscow after it seized three of Kiev's ships in a confrontation at sea on the weekend.

Ukranians reacted to the maritime standoff with anger. "We consider such actions categorically unacceptable".

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