The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) has detained Russia’s Nika Spirit tanker at the port of Izmail, claiming that it was the Neyma tanker that had blocked the movement of Ukrainian ships during the Kerch Strait incident, the SBU said in a statement.
“The Ukrainian Security Service and Military Prosecutor’s Office have detained Russia’s Neyma tanker that blocked the movement of Ukrainian ships in the Kerch Strait,” the statement reads. “A pre-trial investigation made it clear that Russian FSB border guards had carried out an act of armed aggression against Ukraine’s Nikopol and Berdyansk warships and the Yany Kapu tugboat in the Kerch Strait at the direct order of senior FSB officials,” the SBU added.
According to Ukrainian border guards, the Nika Spirit tanker flying the Russian flag was identified at the port of Izmail through its IMO number and the Equasis information system as the Neyma tanker that had been used to shut the Kerch Strait.
The SBU added that a group of investigators and military prosecutors had searched the tanker with court permission, seizing documents, radio communication recordings made during the incident and logbooks. The tanker’s crew members were questioned.
The tanker “has been recognized as real evidence, investigators plan to request a court to arrest it,” the SBU noted.