5 Things You Never Knew About the Bermuda Triangle

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

5 Things You Never Knew About the Bermuda Triangle

The the triangular swath of ocean between Bermuda, Miami and Puerto Rico is known to many as the Bermuda Triangle. However small this portion of the Atlantic may be, it has a legendary reputation. The so-called “Devil’s Triangle” has seen numerous planes and ships lost within its confines. But why? We may never know. Until then, satisfy your thirst for answers with five things you never knew about the Bermuda Triangle.

Its Strange History Dates Back Hundreds of Years

Its Strange History Dates Back Hundreds of Years

Credit: GParker/Shutterstock

While traveling through the Bermuda Triangle, Christopher Columbus wrote about a blazing fireball that crashed into the sea, strange lights in the distance and a malfunctioning compass. Later, in 1611, William Shakespeare based his play The Tempest off of a 1609 shipwreck that occurred in the Bermuda Triangle. And in 1918, the U.S.S. Cyclops disappeared while traveling between Barbados and Chesapeake Bay. The ship never sent a distress call and all 300 men aboard, as well as the ship itself, were never found.

Flight 19 May Be the Most Puzzling Disappearance

Flight 19 May Be the Most Puzzling Disappearance

Credit: orangecrush/Shutterstock

It all started as a routine mission. On November 5, 1945, five torpedo bombers took off from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. At the helm were experienced military personnel and trained pilots. Within an hour, the flight leader, Lt. Charles C. Taylor, reported erratic compasses and confessed to not knowing his location. Although the U.S. Navy in Fort Lauderdale attempted to locate Taylor and the rest of the crew, the planes disappeared from the radar and the radio went static. Neither the planes nor the pilots were ever found. To make matters worse, the rescue planes sent after Flight 19 disappeared as well. To this day, no one is sure what happened to Lt. Taylor and the rest of the Flight 19 crew.

There Are Scientific Explanations for the Strange Occurrences

There Are Scientific Explanations for the Strange Occurrences

Credit: Dougall_Photography/iStock

Many of the ships and planes that vanish within the Bermuda Triangle are never found. However, much to the chagrin of conspiracy theorists, scientists have a reasonable explanation for this phenomenon — the Gulf Stream, a strong Atlantic current that runs right through the Triangle, sweeps the wreckage debris out to sea. Scientists also believe that methane hydrates could be responsible for the area’s high volume of sinking ships, according to LiveScience. And when Bruce Gernon believed he traveled through time while flying through the Bermuda Triangle? The explanation is as simple as a strong tailwind caused him to travel faster. Plus, as a regular path for maritime ships, this heavily trafficked area of the ocean is bound to have more accidents — especially when you take its unpredictable weather into account.

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It’s Home to a U.S. Navy Facility

It’s Home to a U.S. Navy Facility

Credit: SHansche/iStock

Andros Island of the Bahamas is home to the U.S. Navy Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC). This facility tests submarine, sonar and other weapons, all within the underwater area of the Bermuda Triangle. Since there isn’t a lot of public information about the nature of operations at AUTEC, there are numerous conspiracy theories behind the mysterious facility. Sometimes called Underwater 51, some theorists believe they are testing and/or creating the strange electromagnetic properties found in the Triangle.

It Contains an Underwater City

It Contains an Underwater City

Credit: S. Bachstroem/Shutterstock

In 2001, Pauline Zalitzki, a marine engineer, and Dr. Paul Weinzweig, her husband, were commissioned by the Cuban government to explore the coast of Cuba. In search of shipwrecks, they instead discovered what is now known as the “Cuban underwater city.” Using advanced sonar equipment, the couple found what is believed to be an ancient civilization on the ocean floor. The geometric stonework was built with large blocks of carved granite and stacked in a deliberate nature. Contributing to this mystery is that fact that it would have taken 50,000 years for the structure to sink into the ocean, according to Underground Science. And since no known culture had the architectural knowledge for such complex structures, marine geologist Manuel Iturralde concluded the ancient city was “out of time and out of place.” Is it the Lost City of Atlantis or remnants of an alien civilization? It’s possible we’ll never know.

16 US Marines arrested for alleged crimes including human smuggling and drug-related offenses

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

16 US Marines arrested for alleged crimes including human smuggling and drug-related offenses

Washington (CNN)Sixteen US Marines were arrested Thursday for alleged involvement in various illegal activities ranging from human smuggling to drug-related offenses, according to a statement from the Marine Corps.

The arrests took place in a dramatic fashion on Thursday morning at Camp Pendleton, California, during a battalion formation.
“Information gained from a previous human smuggling investigation precipitated the arrests,” the statement said. “None of the Marines arrested or detained for questioning served in support of the Southwest Border Support mission.”
Eight other Marines were also questioned on their involvement in alleged drug offenses unrelated to today’s arrests, the Marine Corps said.
A US official told CNN that Thursday’s arrests are related to an incident that occurred earlier this month in which two Marines from Camp Pendleton were charged with transporting undocumented immigrants for financial gain.
Byron Law II and David Salazar-Quintero, both lance corporals, were arrested after their vehicle was pulled over by Border Patrol agents about 20 miles east of the Tecate port of entry.
Law was driving, and Salazar-Quintero was in the passenger seat. There were three passengers in the back of the car, and they told the agent they were Mexican citizens, had no immigration papers and were not permitted to enter the United States, according to the complaint.
The three immigrants apprehended from the back of Law’s car told Border Patrol agents that they’d made arrangements to be smuggled into the United States and had been told via cellphone to get into Law’s car.
Two of the migrants said they were planning to pay $8,000 to be smuggled into the country, the complaint says. One planned on traveling to Los Angeles, the other to New Jersey.
The driver and passenger, under questioning, began pointing fingers at one another, the complaint says, detailing their involvement in a smuggling operation.
According to their service records supplied by the US Marine Corps, both of the men charged earlier in the month are riflemen with the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. They have been awarded the National Defense and Global War on Terrorism service medals.
Capt. Christopher Harrison, Marine Corps spokesman, previously told CNN that the corps is “aware of the charges facing Lance Cpl. Law and Lance Cpl. Salazar-Quintero.”
“We continue to cooperate fully with the investigative efforts into this matter,” he said earlier this month.

Navy seals sent home from Iraq

Thursday’s arrests come one day after the US military took the rare step of sending home an elite team of Navy SEALs from Iraq due to “a perceived deterioration of good order and discipline” that caused a military commander to lose “confidence in the team’s ability to accomplish the mission.”
“The commander of the Special Operations Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve (in Iraq) ordered the early redeployment of a SEAL Team platoon to San Diego due to a perceived deterioration of good order and discipline within the team during non-operational periods,” US Special Operations Command said in a statement Wednesday.
“The Commander lost confidence in the team’s ability to accomplish the mission,” the statement added.
A US Defense Department official familiar with the situation told CNN that the unusual step of sending the team home was due to allegations regarding the consumption of alcohol during their downtime, which is a violation of general orders issued to troops participating in overseas campaigns.
The official added that there is no evidence the alcohol consumption happened on missions and there is no evidence of drug use.
A fact-finding investigation has been initiated.
The disciplined service members were members of SEAL Team 7, according to multiple defense officials.

How Pathetic And Immature Donald Trump Is: Asked Navy to Hide McCain Warship

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES)

 

White House Asked Navy to Hide McCain Warship

The Navy destroyer the John S. McCain near the Philippines in 2014.Credit Bullit Marquez/Associated Press

The White House asked the Navy to hide a destroyer named after Senator John McCain in order to avoid having the ship appear in photographs taken while President Trump was visiting Japan this week, White House and military officials said Wednesday.

Although Navy officials insisted they did not hide the ship, the John S. McCain, they did give all of the sailors aboard the day off on Tuesday as Mr. Trump visited Yokosuka Naval Base.

Two Navy sailors, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, said that the McCain sailors were not invited to hear Mr. Trump speak that day aboard the amphibious assault ship Wasp, while sailors from other American warships at the base were.

A Navy service member based on Yokosuka said that all of the American warships in the harbor were invited to send 60 to 70 sailors to hear Mr. Trump’s address, with the exception of the McCain. When several sailors from the McCain showed up anyway, wearing their uniforms with the ship’s insignia, they were turned away, the service member said.

White House aides, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not permitted to speak publicly, confirmed the request was made but said that Mr. Trump did not know about it. A United States official said on Wednesday that the White House sent an email to the Navy with the request on May 15.

But the president denied on Twitter on Wednesday night having any involvement: “I was not informed about anything having to do with the Navy Ship USS John S. McCain during my recent visit to Japan.”

Mr. McCain, of Arizona, who died last year from brain cancer, was derided repeatedly during his life by Mr. Trump, who once disparaged Mr. McCain’s service because he had been held as a war prisoner in Vietnam, saying, “I like people who weren’t captured.”

The president’s animosity toward the senator did not subside with his death.

Navy officials approached last week by The New York Times about plans for the McCain during Mr. Trump’s visit declined to comment. But one official said on Thursday that sailors aboard the destroyer were told to hide signs that identified that warship during Mr. Trump’s visit.

The White House request to hide the name of Mr. Trump’s rival, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, is the second episode to engulf the Navy in Mr. Trump’s single visit to the Wasp.

At least a few service members wore round patches emblazoned with a likeness of Mr. Trump and the words “Make Aircrew Great Again” — a play on the president’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” — on their flight suits while listening to their commander in chief speak.

Images of the patches promptly went viral. “They’re inappropriate & against regulation,” tweeted Mark Hertling, a retired three-star Army general.

Just days later, the Navy was embroiled in the McCain news. “All ships remained in normal configuration during the president’s visit,” said Cmdr. Nate Christensen, a Navy spokesman.

The acting defense secretary, Patrick Shanahan, denied knowledge of the White House request. “When I read about it this morning, it was the first I’ve heard about it,” he told reporters on Thursday during an appearance with his Indonesian counterpart in Jakarta. Asked if he planned to order an investigation into the matter, he said, “I want to find out a little bit more.”

The Wasp, an amphibious assault ship that hosts the new F-35B Lightning fighter jets, had actually been in Sasebo, Japan, and was moved to Yokosuka in time for the president’s visit.

The Chief of Naval Information, the public affairs arm of the Navy, posted on Twitter for the first time in five and a half years over the matter. “The name of the U.S.S. John S. McCain was not obscured during the POTUS visit to Yokosuka on Memorial Day,” the Navy said, using an acronym for president of the United States.

Navy Chief of Information

@chinfo

The name of USS John S. McCain was not obscured during the POTUS visit to Yokosuka on Memorial Day. The Navy is proud of that ship, its crew, its namesake and its heritage.

4,036 people are talking about this

The disclosure that the Navy entertained a request to hide a warship named after an American war hero from a president who did not serve is likely to resurface questions about whether Mr. Trump has politicized the military.

Mr. Shanahan, the president’s pick to become defense secretary — and who will soon be visiting Tokyo after his time in Jakarta — has taken pains to go along with White House requests, many of which were delayed by his predecessor, Jim Mattis. But this effort could make Mr. Shanahan’s confirmation fight in Congress more difficult.

The destroyer John S. McCain is named after the senator, as well as his grandfather, John S. McCain Sr., a Navy admiral during World War II, and his father, John S. McCain Jr., an admiral in the Vietnam era.

Meghan McCain, John McCain’s daughter, spoke out on Twitter on Wednesday night against the White House request. Ms. McCain, who has rebuked the president over how he has spoken about her father, wrote that Mr. Trump was “threatened by the greatness of my dads incredible life,” adding that in the “nine months since he passed, Trump won’t let him RIP.”

Julian E. Barnes contributed reporting.

China opposes US warships’ sailing near islands in South China Sea

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF SHANGHAI CHINA’S SHINE NEWS NETWORK)

 

China opposes US warships’ sailing near islands in South China Sea

Xinhua

China on Monday expressed strong dissatisfaction over and resolute opposition to two US warships’ sailing near Chinese islands in the South China Sea.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said two US warships entered the waters adjacent to Chinese islands in the South China Sea without permission from the Chinese government. The Chinese navy identified and verified the US warships and warned them to leave according to law.

“The relevant moves of the US warships violated China’s sovereignty and undermined peace, security and healthy order in the relevant sea areas,” said Geng.

Geng said that at present, with the joint efforts of China and ASEAN countries, the situation in the South China Sea has stabilized and been improving. China urges the US side to stop such provocative acts, respect China’s sovereignty and security interests, and respect the efforts of regional countries to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.

China will continue to take all necessary measures to safeguard national sovereignty and security, and maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea, he said.

Indian War Ships In Rare Parade With Chinese

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF INDIA’S HINDUSTAN TIMES)

 

Indian war ships in rare parade with Chinese who display powerful destroyer

President Xi Jinping spoke of international maritime cooperation as China displayed the first of a new generation of guided missile destroyers on Tuesday at a naval parade to mark the 70th anniversary of China’s navy in the Yellow off China’s eastern coast.

WORLD Updated: Apr 23, 2019 19:58 IST

Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times, Beijing
China,Chinese news,70th anniversary of China’s navy
Foreign naval officers gather for a group photo on the deck of the naval training ship Qi Jiguang before a naval parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of China’s PLA Navy in the sea near Qingdao in the eastern China’s Shandong province on April 23, 2019.(AFP photo)

President Xi Jinping spoke of international maritime cooperation as China displayed the first of a new generation of guided missile destroyers on Tuesday at a naval parade to mark the 70th anniversary of China’s navy in the Yellow sea off China’s eastern coast.

Two Indian battleships, stealth destroyer, INS Kolkata, and supply vessel, INS Shakti were part of the parade, which saw 16 other ships from 12 other countries participate in the parade through rain and mist off the Qingdao coast.

“A total of 32 vessels of the People’s Liberation Army Navy sailed in six groups, and 39 warplanes of the Navy flew in ten echelons,” official news agency, Xinhua said in a report from the port city.

Commenting on Indian navy’s rare public appearance in the Chinese navy’s event military expert, Yue Gang, said Indian and Chinese navies have different advantages and should not confront each other.

“The number of Chinese warships is four times that of India. (But) Indian warships in the Indian Ocean have a superior geographical advantage. It is difficult for both sides to win completely,” Yue said.

“India and China are immovable neighbours. They are better off in peace than in competition. Cooperation is a win-win situation, and both sides will lose in confrontation,” he said.

“Both China and India have benefited from the Indian Ocean region. It is necessary to carry out cooperation and coordination to avoid mistrust. The countries have carried out preliminary security cooperation at sea. The main projects include maritime search and rescue exercises and the anti-piracy joint escort of The Gulf of Aden,” Yue said.

“In the future, the two countries will have the opportunity to establish a wide range of cooperation in anti-terrorism, humanitarian relief, submarine wreck rescue, and UN peacekeeping,” he said.

Meanwhile, at the parade, China’s first domestically produced aircraft carrier, which is still unnamed and undergoing sea trials, was not present, though the country’s first carrier, the Liaoning led the Chinese ships, state media report.

Earlier, at a gathering of foreign and Chinese naval officers and guests, Xi said the navies of the world should work together to protect maritime peace and order.

“The Chinese people love and long for peace, and will unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development,” Xi said.

“Everyone should respect each other, treat each other as equals, enhance mutual trust, strengthen maritime dialogue and exchanges, and deepen pragmatic cooperation between navies,” he added.

“There cannot be resorts to force or threats of force at the slightest pretext,” Xi said.

The parade took place in the backdrop of China’s ongoing maritime disputes with countries in Southeast Asia over competing claims on the South China Sea.

First Published: Apr 23, 2019 19:57 IST

China:Navy Chief Says ‘it’s’ Vital To Promote Trust, Peace

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWSPAPER ‘SHINE’)

 

Navy chief says vital to promote trust, peace

Xinhua

Reuters

Chinese navy personnel perform at an event celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy in Qingdao yesterday.

China’ss navy wants maritime “tranquillity and good order,” its chief said yesterday, ahead of a parade today to mark its 70th anniversary.

Speaking at a reception in Qingdao, navy chief Shen Jinlong said China was looking to promote trust and cooperation this week in its interactions with foreign navies and delegations.

“China’s navy is willing to, together with other navies, tackle maritime security challenges and maintain maritime peace, tranquillity and good order, stay committed to maritime security and development and actively provide more public goods for world maritime security,” Shen said.

“The PLA Navy is willing to be your close, friendly and equal partner for mutual support, development and win-win cooperation and remain united and act resolutely with all of you to safeguard world peace and stability,” he added.

“Let us contribute more to an ocean of lasting peace, common security and prosperity, an ocean that is open and inclusive.”

“A maritime parade is a form of military diplomacy,” said Yin Zhuo, head of the information technology commission of the PLA Navy.

“The PLA Navy will showcase the idea of peace to international delegates and the world.”

Organizing multinational naval events is an established practice for the PLA Navy, he added, noting that the events can boost exchanges and cooperation between Chinese and foreign navies, who will work together to safeguard maritime security and stability.

Today’s parade will feature 32 vessels and 39 aircraft, some of which have not been seen before, as well as warships from 13 foreign countries including India, Australia and Vietnam.

China Marks 70th Anniversary Of Their Navy On April 23rd

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF SHANGHAI CHINA’S SHINE NEWS NETWORK)

 

Naval parade marking Chinese navy anniversary to be held on April 23

Xinhua

A naval parade commemorating the 70th founding anniversary of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy will be held in Qingdao and nearby sea areas and airspace on April 23, a senior navy officer said Saturday.

China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, and latest nuclear submarines, destroyers and fighter jets will join the parade, Qiu Yanpeng, deputy commander of the PLA Navy, told a press conference.

“Some vessels will make their debut for the first time,” Qiu said.

Altogether 32 Chinese vessels and 39 warplanes will take part in the event, according to Qiu.

Over 10 countries, including Russia, Thailand, Vietnam and India, will send nearly 20 vessels to join a naval parade, Qiu said.

More than 60 countries will send delegations to join multinational naval events marking the anniversary, and over 30 countries among them will send major navy leaders to participate, according to Qiu.

Damn… I Sure Hope I’m Wrong

Damn… I Sure Hope I’m Wrong

 

Folks this is simply the thoughts of an old man, roll with it where you will, or not. Time, age, it does give one advantage to the times people see fads come and go. I know that I am not the brightest bulb in the package but I do enjoy history and memories what one sees and understands often come from that. This article to you tonight is strictly a ‘what if’ letter and damn, I sure hope I’m wrong.

 

What If, what if President Trump is considered to be at the weakest point of his Presidency right now? What if right now even our Allies have no trust at all in Mr. Trump’s Leadership or even worse, if they consider the U.S. to now be a likely enemy? Now our real Enemies challenge U.S. authority all over the globe, Russia has been pushing the “West” for a fight over Crimea and now over the mainland of Ukraine, Mr. Putin has installed several hundred tanks facing Ukraine along their Border. Russian Naval Ships have fired on boarded and taken control of Ukraine Naval Ships.

 

If Mr. Putin and President Xi Jinping decided on a date over this Christmas Holiday to coordinate an attack on two fronts, first with Russia doing an all out attack on Ukraine and second, China doing an all out assault on Taiwan. Then of course this day would happen to be the time Hamas does an all out assault on Israel from the south and also the day Hezbollah does the same into northern Israel. My question is how would the U.S. Government and Military handle these situations, or could they in any real way enter into a WW3 situation, and win? There would also be the reality of every Three-Bit Dictator attacking whomever they choose all around the world. If the U.S. had great leaders would they take this kind of a chance? The reality is, we don’t have a mentally competent Leader in the Oval Office. So, what would happen if all of this occurred? You know folks, there is one thing that the world seems to forget about. Folks wake up, all of our ‘ways of life’ can change is just a fraction of a second with one bright flash up in the skies.

 

As I said, this was just a ‘what if’ theory and all I can honestly say is, I sure hope I’m Wrong!

Putin The Habitual Liar: 8 Putin Claims Regarding the Kerch Strait Incident

(THIS INFORMATION IS COURTESY OF THE NEWS ORGANIZATION POLYGRAPH.INFO)

 

Video Fact Check: 8 Putin Claims Regarding the Kerch Strait Incident


RUSSIA -- Russian President Vladimir Putin reacts during a session of the VTB Capital Investment Forum "Russia Calling!" in Moscow, November 28, 2018
RUSSIA — Russian President Vladimir Putin reacts during a session of the VTB Capital Investment Forum “Russia Calling!” in Moscow, November 28, 2018
Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin

President of the Russian Federation

Multiple claims are covered, see below.

MULTIPLE CLAIMS (SEE ARTICLE)

There are questions about several of Putin’s claims.

On November 28, Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed Sunday’s incident in the Black Sea. When a Russian coast guard vessel rammed a Ukrainian naval tugboat, Russian vessels fired shots at the tug and two Ukrainian patrol boats near the Kerch Strait. At the VTB Bank Investment Forum in Moscow, Putin answered reporters’ questions – making a number of statements that are either false, unverified, or possibly true but in a misleading way. You can watch what he said and our verdicts in the video here:

No media source currently available

0:002:550:00

Read more about it below:

PUTIN: “In regards to the incident in the Black Sea – that, without a doubt, was a provocation.”

TRUE: This may be true, but if so, it was a Russian provocation, not a Ukrainian one. The Russian ships engaged the Ukrainian boats aggressively, even as the Ukrainian naval boats acted in accordance with a bilateral treaty signed by Putin in 2003.The treaty grants free passage through the Kerch strait to commercial and naval vessels of Ukraine and Russia. The Ukrainian Navy claims their vessel gave notification of its intent to transit the strait.

Alec Luhn

@ASLuhn

Essentially what happened is Ukraine tried to send 3 naval ships into the shared Azov Sea through the Kerch Strait, which is spanned by the Crimean bridge. Russia rammed one and later opened fire on another. It’s closed traffic through the Kerch Strait https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-russian-ship-rams-navy-tugboat-off-crimea-azov/29619665.html 

Kyiv Says Russian Ship Rams Ukrainian Navy Tugboat Off Crimea

Ukraine says a Russian coast guard vessel has rammed one of its navy tugboats off the Moscow-annexed Crimean Peninsula in “openly aggressive actions,” resulting in damage to the ship.

rferl.org

404 people are talking about this

PUTIN: “A provocation, organized by the current Ukrainian authorities, I think by the current president ahead of presidential elections in Ukraine in March of the next year.”

FALSE: Putin is implying that the incident was organized by Ukrainian President Poroshenko in order to justify calling off elections scheduled for next year via his decree of martial law. However, the period of martial law will expire on December 26, months before the election, and will only include areas of the country embroiled in conflict.

___________________________________________________________

PUTIN: “Something needed to be done to escalate the situation and create insurmountable obstacles for his contestants, especially those from the opposition.”

UNCLEAR: This is unclear, because it is unverifiable. Although it is true that Putin’s own approval rating has been boosted by military adventures abroad.

_____________________________________________________________

PUTIN: “…in 2014 when Crimea decided to join Russia…”

FALSE: The Crimea didn’t “decide to join Russia.” The Russian military took the peninsula in unmarked uniforms and the part of the region “voted” under Russian occupation.

_____________________________________________________________

PUTIN: “The hard events of a civil war in Ukraine in the south-east in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.”

FALSE: There is no civil war in those regions, but rather a Russian invasion and occupation.

_____________________________________________________________

PUTIN: “So what happened now? They did not respond to requests from our border guard, they entered our territorial waters, the waters that were our territorial even before Crimea has joined the Russian Federation.”

FALSE: Use of the strait is governed by the bilateral treaty between the two countries renewed in 2003.By agreement, the the strait and the sea of Azov are considered internal waters of both Ukraine and Russia, and provides for free passage for vessels of both nations.A maritime expert, and radio intercepts, placed the vessels at the 12 nautical mile point in the Black Sea, where Crimean territorial waters end.

(see original fact check on this topic, linked above)

_____________________________________________________________

PUTIN: “Today authorities in Kyiv successfully sell anti-Russian sentiments; they have nothing else left to sell.”

MISLEADING: Anti-Russian sentiments in Ukraine follow the Russian invasion and occupation of its territory – Crimea in early 2014 and the ongoing Eastern Ukraine conflict, fomented by Russian actors.

_____________________________________________________________

PUTIN: “No matter what they (Ukrainians) do, they get away with it. If they demand today infants for breakfast, they, probably, will be served infants”

FALSE: Ukraine’s leadership is routinely criticized by Western governments and human rights watchdogs on a number of topics from corruption and slow reforms, to failure to uphold human rights and press freedom.

Ukraine Considers Martial Law After Russia Seizes Its Ships Near Crimea

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NPR NEWS)

 

Ukraine Considers Martial Law After Russia Seizes Its Ships Near Crimea

The Nikopol gunboat (left) and the Yany Kapu tugboat of the Ukrainian navy are tugged to the Kerch Seaport.

Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

Russian warships seized three Ukrainian naval vessels on Sunday in a narrow waterway that provides access from the Black Sea to the much smaller Sea of Azov near Crimea, ramping up already bitter tensions between the two countries.

On Sunday, Russia dispatched warplanes to patrol the area after the Ukrainian navy tried to send the ships through the Kerch Strait, a waterway with strategic significance for both countries that passes under a newly built Russian bridge.

In May, President Vladimir Putin personally opened the bridge over the Kerch Strait, connecting the Crimea peninsula — which Moscow seized in 2014 — to Russia’s mainland.

The 12-mile-long span has been touted by Russia as a claim to Crimea. Ukraine, along with nearly every other country in the world, refuses to recognize that claim.

Russian vessels rammed one of the Ukrainian boats and opened fire on the other two before seizing all three, along with their crews. Ukrainian officials have said six of its sailors were injured; Russia has said three. The boats were towed to a nearby port.

Video from a Russian ship, including strong language from the bridge crew, shows it ramming a Ukrainian tug boat — one of the three vessels that was reportedly seized.

In response, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called a late-night meeting with top security officials in the capital city of Kiev.

Poroshenko described the incident as open Russian aggression and said he planned to ask parliament to approve the imposition of martial law. Doing so would restrict Ukrainians’ civil liberties and increase state power and give the unpopular president a free hand to postpone elections in March, where he faces an uphill battle to hold onto power.

Russian state media said Poroshenko provoked the maritime incident as a means of delaying the election — and potentially to raise the stakes between President Trump and Putin, who are due to meet later this week.

Trump has not commented on the incident.

Russia accused Ukraine of illegally entering its waters. A spokesman for the FSB, the country’s Federal Security Service — which oversees the coast guard — said the Ukrainian vessels violated territorial waters and had to be stopped.

As Reuters reports:

“The FSB said it had been forced to act because the ships — two small Ukrainian armored artillery vessels and a tug boat — had illegally entered its territorial waters, attempted illegal actions, and ignored warnings to stop while maneuvering dangerously.”

“This is a very dangerous provocation, which requires particular attention and a special investigation,” Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told state media.

The FSB will release evidence proving “Kiev’s plans to carry out a provocation in the Black Sea,” state media said.

Ukraine says its vessels were in operating in accordance with international maritime rules.

The incident sparked an international response and concern mainly for Ukraine over its more powerful nemesis.

The European Union issued a statement “urging all sides to act with utmost restraint.” NATO called for “restraint and deescalation.”

“NATO fully supports Ukraine’s sovereignty and its territorial waters,” NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu said in a statement. “We call on Russia to ensure unhindered access to Ukrainian posts in the Azov Sea, in accordance with international law.”

The United Nations Security Council is expected to hold an emergency meeting on the incident Monday.

Russia blocked off the strait before the incident and reopened it to commercial shipping early Monday.

Relations between the countries have gone steadily downhill since Russia’s 2014 annexation of the Crimea peninsula. Ukraine continues to wage a low-level war against a pro-Moscow separatist insurgency in the eastern part of the country.

The Kerch Strait and Sea of Azov are shared territorial waters, according to a 2003 treaty. Russia has focused on exerting more control over the waterway since the annexation — with the Kerch bridge being a key move.

Enlarge this image

The Russian embassy is seen covered in smoke during a protest of activists, following an incident in the Black Sea near the Crimea annexed by Russia, in which three Ukrainian naval vessels were seized by a Russian border guard vessels.

/Pavlo Conchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Ukranians reacted to the maritime standoff with anger. About 150 reportedly gathered outside the Russian embassy in Kiev, where a car with Russian diplomatic plates was set on fire.

“We gathered here today to protest against Russians over their actions today, over shooting of our military,” protester Oleksiy Ryabov told Reuters. “We are very angry. We should have severed all diplomatic relations with this country a long time ago.”

Far-right protesters reportedly burned tires outside the Russian consulate inthe western Ukrainian city of Lviv, saying Poroshenko is not aggressive enough in his relationship with Russia.

NPR’s Lucian Kim contributed to this report.