Russian military forces have captured Ukraine’s last Crimean ship - the Cherkasy, on March 25. The minesweeper was the last ship under the control of Ukraine in Crimea. Russia has taken over 51 vessels of the Ukrainian navy according to the Center of Military and Political Research in Kyiv. Reports reveal part of the vessels seized by Russian forces: submarine Zaporizhia, management ship Slavutych, landing ship Konstantin Olshansky, landing ship Kirovohrad, minesweeper Chernihiv and the last was minesweeper Cherkasy.
The Cherkasy is the last known seized Ukrainian vessel over the past weeks. The minesweeper was attacked and captured by Russian military forces after the vessel has made an attempt to escape the blockade of two intentionally sunken by the Russians ships. The Cherkasy was in trap and was unable to escape into the Black Sea. There was an explosion on board the Cherkasy during the attack, the ship engine was damaged. Fortunately, there were no injured people during the raid. Since the ship engine was damaged, the Cherkasy had to be towed away by a tug boat to the anchorage.
The Russian forces used stun grenades and fired in the air according to Ukraine naval officials. The Ukrainian crew members made an attempt to stop the raid by using water canons against the Russian speedboats. A similar military tactics were used in the other Russian raids towards Ukrainian ships and military bases in the bloodless annexation of the region. Ukraine claims the annexation of Crimea illegal, but decided to withdraw its remaining forces in order to evade unnecessary losses of lives.
The crew of the Cherkasy remained at first on board the vessel, but in the morning (the raid began on Tuesday evening) left the minesweeper.