Ukrainian President: 'Russian tanks are on our border'

Ukrainian President: 'Russian tanks are on our border'

Ukrainian President: 'Russian tanks are on our border'

Friday their response gained an edge, when Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko tweeted that Russians aged 16 to 60 would be barred from entering Ukraine, the most concrete measure taken yet by Kiev during the 30 days of the martial law they have declared.

Earlier, in a move applauded in Kiev, US President Donald Trump called off a meeting with Russia's Vladimir Putin in Argentina to signal Washington's disapproval of Russian behaviour in the naval clash with Ukraine.

Announcing the move, President Petro Poroshenko, referring back to Russia's seizure and subsequent annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its support for separatist uprisings in eastern Ukraine, said it was important to stop full-scale invasion. Poroshenko introduced martial law across ten regions in eastern and southeastern Ukraine on Monday, using the Kerch Strait incident as a justification.

Russia seized three Ukrainian navy ships and their crews on Sunday near the Crimean peninsula over what it said was their illegal entry into Russian waters - a charge Ukraine strongly refutes.

Amid the tensions, the Russian military said it had deployed another batch of the long-range S-400 air defence missile systems to Crimea.

The skipper of the Ukrainian flotilla, Volodymyr Lisovyi, said, "I deliberately ignored requests via ultra-short-wave band and was aware of the provocative nature of our actions".

Ukraine's president announced Thursday that the Constantinople patriarchy has approved a decree granting the Ukrainian Orthodox Church independence from the Russian Orthodox Church, a major boost to the president's approval ratings.

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Spokesman of the General Staff Vadym Skybitsky explained that the image is supposed to show the possible extent of Russian military aggression in the Azov and the Black Sea region.

On Twitter, Trump said that his decision was "based on the fact that the ships and sailors have not been returned to Ukraine from Russian Federation".

Poroshenko said that the ban on Russian male immigration is created to prevent a repeat of the 2014 Russian invasion of Crimea, in which nominally "private" commandos acting at the Kremlin's direction seized and occupied sovereign Ukrainian territory.

Map locating the Kerch Strait bridge that links Crimea to Russian Federation.

Ukraine called the incident "an act of aggression", but Russian Federation maintains that the Ukrainian ships had trespassed in its waters. In May this year, Russian Federation effectively took control of the Kerch Strait, which ships must pass through to reach the Black Sea from the Sea of Azoz, by building a bridge across it too low for large vessels to clear underneath. While these ethnic Russians are still Ukrainian citizens and presumably would not be hit by the sanctions, this does reflect the close relationship that these border regions have with Russia.

Kogershyn Sagiyeva, a member of the Moscow oversight council, told the television station Dozhd that 21 Ukrainian seamen are already at the Moscow Lefortovo jail while three others are in a hospital in another jail. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka) A detained crew member (L) of one of Ukrainian naval ships, which were recently seized by Russia's FSB security service, walks out of a vehicle before a court hearing in Simferopol, Crimea November 28, 2018.

Russia's foreign ministry responded to the temporary ban on Friday, criticizing Ukraine leadership and saying it would not reciprocate. One of the Russian warships rammed the Ukraine boat.

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