The Russian FSB is terrorizing Ukrainian fishermen who legally fish in the waters of the Sea of Azov. The Russian special services illegally detain Ukrainians, after which they obtain false testimonies about allegedly poaching fishing through blackmail and threats.
The press service of the Security Service of Ukraine reported on the situation.
“In particular, in 2018, representatives of the coast guard of the FSB of the Russian Federation illegally detained two Ukrainians who were on a fishing boat in the waters of the Sea of Azov near Berdyansk. Despite the lack of grounds for detention, as while inspecting the Ukrainian vessel, no fish or fishing equipment was found as well as things forbidden to free circulation, Ukrainian citizens were forcibly taken to the city of Yeysk, Krasnodar Territory. Representatives of the FSB conducted interrogations of illegally detained Ukrainians without presence of lawyers, representatives of the consular establishment or other authorized individual and required to sign a false statement about the poaching of living aquatic resources with prohibited fishing gear”, the report says.
When Ukrainians refused to sign such confessions, the FSB threatened to charge them with sabotage and espionage activity against Russia, which provides for imprisonment for 20 years.
The FSB of the Russian Federation cynically does not hide its methods, frankly declaring a re-examination of the vessel, during which weapons, explosives, drugs and the like will be “discovered”. Facing the real threat of prolonged imprisonment, Ukrainian citizens were forced to give false testimonies. A criminal case was instituted against them under part 3 of article 256 and part 1 of article 258-1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation on illegal fishing, – the SBU said.
After that, Ukrainians were in different places of imprisonment in Russia. They were also fined and the boat along with other personal property were confiscated for the aggressor country.
It is further noted that such activities of the Russian special services are a violation of international law and are systemic in nature. It goes hand in hand with information campaigns in the Russian media, which are seeking to undermine the image of Ukraine in front of the international community. Thus, they are trying to slander Ukraine as a state that “harms the ecological fauna of the Sea of Azov, the development and renewal of biological resources, contributes to its pollution, etc.”