Ukrainian naval vessel enters Russian military exercise zone

The Ukrainian Navy’s small reconnaissance vessel the “Pereyaslav” entered the zone where Russia’s Black Sea Fleet was conducting drills, Colonel Andriy Ryzhenko, the Navy’s deputy chief of staff for Euro-Atlantic integration, said in a broadcast of UA.TV.

During the period when the exercise was being conducted, the Ukrainian vessel was returning from the NATO Agile Spirit – 2019 exercise in Georgia.

“I could say that we took the recommended routes, but there were various options, primarily it was avoiding escalation,” said Ryzhenko.

According to him, Russian ships escorted the Pereyaslav all the way from Georgia.

“We entered [the exercise zone] because there was no activity there. It wasn’t just us, there was intense maritime traffic there,” said the colonel.

The Pereyaslav had the right to enter the exercise zone because it is permitted by international law, and the ship itself is a military vessel, Ryzhenko added.

The Pereyaslav is a project 1824B small reconnaissance vessel, a special purposes vessel of the Ukrainian Navy. The ship was commissioned in 1986 and transferred to Ukraine during the division of the Soviet Union’s Black Sea Fleet.

Units from Russia’s Black Sea Fleet based in Crimea and Krasnodar Krai began drills on August 19. The exercise made use of the naval bases in Crimea and Novorossiysk, and involved ships, coastal divisions and naval aircraft.

  Ukraine, Russia, Ukrainian Navy