A potentially major escalation of tensions between Russia and Ukraine, which accused Moscow of firing on and then illegally seizing three of its naval ships just off of Crimea on Sunday. A charge that if confirmed could spark a dangerous new crisis between the two countries. Russia did not immediately or directly respond to Ukraine's allegation.
But Russia news agencies cited the SFB security services saying it had inconvertible proof that Ukraine had orchestrated what it called, quote, a provocation, and said it would make its evidence public soon. The confrontation began earlier on Sunday after Russia stopped two small Ukrainian armored artillery vessels and a tug boat by placing a cargo ship beneath the Kerch Strait Bridge, which was built after Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014.
Tensions between the two countries have run high since then. And Sunday's standoff in the Black Sea risks pushing them back toward a wider conflict.