A RUSSIAN missile frigate is moving in the direction of the Azov Sea from Crimea amid World War 3 tensions between Moscow and Ukraine.
The frigate was spotted 1.5 nautical miles off the Crimean coast in the area of the town of Feodosia. A helicopter was visible onboard, the witness said. Tensions are high in the area after Vladimir Putin’s warships opened fire on three Ukrainian ships in the Black Sea on November 25.
Russian forces detained 23 Ukrainian seamen, injuring at least six, after Moscow accused Kiev of “illegally” manoeuvring through the Kerch Strait.
With relations still raw after Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and its backing for a pro-Moscow insurgency in eastern Ukraine, the crisis has risked pushing the two countries into open conflict.
Ukraine is not a NATO member though it aspires to membership.
The European Union, Britain, France, Poland, Denmark, and Canada all condemned what they called Russian aggression.
The frigate sighting comes after Russia insisted it is not increasing its military presence in the Sea of Azov.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said forces are guarding the Crimean Bridge.
She said: “Russia is not increasing its military presence in the Sea of Azov, there are no Russian naval bases there, the forces that are there are used to guard the Crimean Bridge.
"I will remind you that from the very beginning of statements about this infrastructure facility's construction plans, we have heard direct calls by Ukrainian officials - politicians and security officials, who obey the Kiev regime - to destroy it.
"These forces are also used to ensure the safety of navigation."
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