MOSCOW (AP) Ukraines president demanded today that Russia immediately release Ukrainian sailors and vessels seized in a standoff around Crimea that sharply escalated tensions between the two countries and drew international concern.
The two neighbors have been locked in a tense tug-of-war since Russias 2014 annexation of Crimea, but the incident late Sunday, in which Russian coast guard ships fired on Ukrainian navy vessels near the Kerch Strait, directly pitted the two militaries against each other, placing them on the verge of an open conflict.
The Ukrainian navy said six of its seamen were wounded when Russian coast guards opened fire on three Ukrainian ships near the Kerch Strait and then seized them. Russia said that three Ukrainian sailors were lightly injured and given medical assistance.
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