By staging a provocation in the Kerch Strait the Ukrainian authorities tried to send a fresh reminder of their existence to the West, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after talks with his Swiss counterpart Ignazio Cassis on Wednesday, TASS reported.
"Of course, the purpose of that spectacle was to not let the West forget about Ukraine, because this regime and these [Ukrainian] authorities make many, at least in Europe, feel tired," he said. "Also, the hope of coping with domestic political problems was involved somehow. Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko’s popularity ratings are catastrophic," the top diplomat noted.
On November 25, 2018, three Ukrainian naval ships violated the rules of passage from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov. The intruding Ukrainian vessels illegally crossed the Russian state border, trespassed into Russian territorial waters and conducted dangerous maneuvers. In defiance of repeated warnings and demands to halt by the FSB Border Service and the Black Sea Fleet, the Ukrainian ships carried on violating the law, which drove the Russian forces to use gunfire in order to compel them to stop. As a result, all three ships were detained.
Criminal charges were launched in Russia over the violation of the state border. Later that same day in the evening, the National Security and Defense Council on orders from President Poroshenko made a decision to introduce martial law.