Russian men barred from Ukraine entry
MOVE TO STOP ‘PRIVATE ARMIES’
UKRAINE’S president has said Russian men between 16 and 60 have been barred from travelling to the country.
The move comes as the longsimmering conflict between the two nations escalated in the Black Sea on Sunday.
Russian border guards opened fire on and captured three Ukrainian vessels and their 24-member crew.
Ukraine president Petro Poroshenko tweeted that restrictions on Russian travellers had been taken in order to prevent Russians from forming “private armies” on Ukrainian soil.
On Monday, the Ukrainian parliament adopted the president’s motion to impose martial law in the country for 30 days in the wake of the naval stand-off near the Crimean Peninsula, which Moscow annexed in 2014. The Ukrainian vessels had been trying to pass through the Kerch Strait to the Sea of Azov.
A Russian government-appointed ombudswoman for Crimea said the seamen had been transported from a detention centre in Crimea. The three commanders had been taken to Moscow, she said.
A Crimea court earlier this week ruled to keep the Ukrainian seamen behind bars for two months pending the investigation.