Ukraine Faces a Military Situation, Tensions with Russia Continue to Rise

Russia has seized three Ukrainian naval ships in waters near Moscow-annexed Crimea, raising fears of military escalation and prompting an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Monday, reports AFP. 

In an unprecedented incident, Russia used weapons against the Ukranian ships which it claims illegally entered its waters before boarding and searching them, the country's FSB security service confirmed.

The crisis unfolded on Sunday as two Ukrainian small warships and a tugboat were heading through the Kerch Strait, a narrow waterway that gives access to the Sea of Azov that is used by Ukraine and Russia.

Ukraine said a Russian border guard vessel rammed the tugboat in "openly aggressive actions" and then fired on the ships, immobilising all three.

It said the Kerch Strait was blocked by a tanker and that Russian military aircraft were flying over the area.

The confrontation at sea is a dangerous development in the long-running conflict pitting Ukraine against Moscow and Russian-backed rebels in the east of the country.

The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the escalation, US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said. The meeting was requested by both Russia and Ukraine, diplomatic sources told AFP.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has asked parliament to vote Monday on whether to impose martial law on the country for 60 days, after his Military Cabinet recommended the move in a late-night meeting.

Throwing his weight behind the measure, which is not guaranteed to pass, he said it "in no way means that Ukraine will carry out any offensive actions".

"I want to emphasise separately that we have all irrefutable evidence that this aggression, this attack on the...

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