Bizarre Ultimatums – Captured Fishing Crew Forced to Renounce Their Russianness by Ukraine

In Ukraine, the captain of the Russian fishing boat Nord has been charged. He was arrested in the Azov Sea on March 25th. The sailor is facing up to 5 years in prison for violating border crossing regulations. The fishing boat is impounded at the dock in Berdyansk, Ukraine. There are 10 crew members aboard, all of them are Russian citizens. Border patrol has confiscated their passports. In order to regain their freedom, they need to confess to being Ukrainian. In Crimea, they call this ‘government piracy’.Salima Zarif has talked to the boat’s crew and owner.[embedded content]Their common cell is 25×6 meters, these are the dimensions of the Nord. 10 Russians have been here for over a week, basically under arrest. The fishing boat crew is held back in Berdyansk, Ukraine by the border patrol. The fishermen’s passports have been confiscated, and they’re being forced to confess to being Ukrainian. They won’t let the Russian Consul aboard, saying there are no Russians there.Vladimir Gorbenko, captain of the Nord: “They immediately began to talk about this. They told the crew that if we were to somehow find ourselves in possession of Ukrainian passports that we had until 2014, this issue would resolve on its own”.The entire crew is from Crimea. Their families in Kerch are worried. The captain’s family has it the worst. If he confesses to being Ukrainian under pressure, he may be charged with violation of the entry procedure to Ukraine’s occupied territory with an intent of harming the country’s safety. This nonsensical rule of Ukrainian legislation stipulates up to 3 years in prison.Maria Gorbenko, the wife of the Nord Captain: “He’s been sailing for many years, this has never happened before, we’re in shock”.Inna Umilenova’s husband and son are both aboard the Nord.Inna Umilenova, the wife of a Nord crew member: “I want them back as soon as possible. It’s hard on all of us and on them, too”.’Joint use waters’, this is the legal status of this part of the Azov Sea where the vessel was detained. This means that no trespassing occurred, and all the rules were followed. Basically, this is an issue of gangsterism and Ukraine’s government piracy. Charges have been filed in Russia under article 211 of the Criminal Code, ‘hijacking’.Anna Sheveleva, the press secretary of the collective fishery: “These people are innocent, they need to let them go. They haven’t even been charged with anything officially. They’ve been under arrest for over 72 hours now, without any cause. We’ve been fishing for 4 years without any issues. These little sprats and anchovies, are apparently strategic weapons”.There are 5 tons of Azov sprats in the hold, which have gone bad already. The hold has been sealed off. The electrical equipment is still turned on, which poses a fire hazard. An ambulance has been called to the boat twice for hypertensive crisis. The crew members aren’t young people. One of them is a woman, she’s the ship’s cook. Right now, the crew members have what their lawyers bring from the city: eggs, cigarettes, coffee, flour, buckwheat, and bread.The fishermen have aren’t allowed to come ashore. They say they are threatened to be shot if they come ashore. Tomorrow, Ukrainian court will consider the complaint from the Russian crew’s lawyers for unlawful arrest. This is their second attempt, and there’s barely any hope this would work. This was the first response from the Ukrainian court: ‘Prove that the Berdyansk harbor is located in Berdyansk’.Salima Zarif, Sergey Ischenko, Aleksandr Borushkov, Diana Dzhemileva, Elizaveta Berezkina, Galina Orlova. Vesti.Let’s block ads! (Why?)

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