Ukraine’s naval forces commander, Admiral Ihor Voronchenko, is betting on small boats with short-range missiles to prevent further trouble with Russia over freedom of navigation in the Black Sea.
On November 25, 2018, the two countries came to the brink of a new, maritime conflict when Russian coast-guard ships off the contested Crimean Peninsula opened fire on Ukrainian navy ships attempting to enter the inland Sea of Azov from the Black Sea.
In an interview with Current Time, Admiral Voronchenko, who was taken prisoner during Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, elaborated about how Ukraine plans to bolster its navy to prevent such incidents in future.
Moscow, which faces fresh international sanctions for its actions, claims that the Ukrainian ships illegally entered Russian territorial waters off Crimea – an ownership claim that is not internationally recognized.
The 24 Ukrainian servicemen from the ships remain in detention in the Russian Federal Security Service’s maximum-security Lefortovo prison outside of Moscow. They face a potential six-year prison sentence for allegedly illegally crossing the Russian border.