Ukraine complains Russia impounded three ships with crew. How should Trump handle this with Putin?
Ukraine Minister of Internal Affairs
Ukraine complains Russia impounded three ships with crew. How should Trump handle this with Putin?
Now playing
03:08
High stakes on the high seas
Reuters
Now playing
02:59
6-year-old airstrike survivor pulled from rubble
Getty Images
Now playing
01:12
Miss Universe contestants unveil political messages during pageant
Israeli warplanes attacked a tunnel shaft belonging to Hamas, in the southern Gaza Strip early Monday morning, Israel Defense Forces ( IDF) said in a post to Twitter. "The shaft of the tunnel is located near a kindergarten and mosque and proves once again how the terrorist organization Hamas deliberately places its military assets in the heart of civilian population." IDF added.
IDF
Israeli warplanes attacked a tunnel shaft belonging to Hamas, in the southern Gaza Strip early Monday morning, Israel Defense Forces ( IDF) said in a post to Twitter. "The shaft of the tunnel is located near a kindergarten and mosque and proves once again how the terrorist organization Hamas deliberately places its military assets in the heart of civilian population." IDF added.
Now playing
02:16
Footage shows what Israel says is its strikes on Hamas tunnels and leaders' homes
Atia Darwish
Now playing
04:11
Video shows AP staff evacuate their office before airstrike
China's Tianwen-1 probe has successfully entered Mars' orbit seven months after it was launched, according to China National Space Administration (CNSA).
CCTV
China's Tianwen-1 probe has successfully entered Mars' orbit seven months after it was launched, according to China National Space Administration (CNSA).
Now playing
00:40
Watch new footage taken from Mars' orbit
A fireball engulfs the Al-Walid building which was destroyed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City, early on May 13.
AFP/Getty Images
A fireball engulfs the Al-Walid building which was destroyed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City, early on May 13.
Now playing
03:05
Hamas releases new propaganda video amid ongoing violence
CNN
Now playing
02:07
New generation of Palestinians and Israeli soldiers facing off in West Bank
Israeli Police
Now playing
01:00
Shocking video shows mob violence in Israel
A tower housing AP, Al Jazeera offices collapses after Israeli missile strikes in Gaza city, May 15, 2021. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
Mohammed Salem/Reuters
A tower housing AP, Al Jazeera offices collapses after Israeli missile strikes in Gaza city, May 15, 2021. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
Now playing
04:27
Israeli airstrike destroys Gaza building with AP, Al Jazeera offices
japan coronavirus olympics Essig DNT intl ldn vpx_00004629.png
CNN
japan coronavirus olympics Essig DNT intl ldn vpx_00004629.png
Now playing
03:18
Japan nears a Covid-19 crisis. The Olympics could tip it over the edge
FILE -  In this March 25, 2021, file photo, a "No Olympics" banner is placed by protesters in Tokyo during a demonstration against the going ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Some nurses in Japan are incensed at a request from Tokyo Olympic organizers to have 500 of them dispatched to help out with the games. They say they're already near the breaking point dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. A protest message saying that nurses were opposed to holding the Olympic went viral on Japanese Twitter recently, being retweeted hundreds of thousands of times. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae, File)
Hiro Komae/AP
FILE - In this March 25, 2021, file photo, a "No Olympics" banner is placed by protesters in Tokyo during a demonstration against the going ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Some nurses in Japan are incensed at a request from Tokyo Olympic organizers to have 500 of them dispatched to help out with the games. They say they're already near the breaking point dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. A protest message saying that nurses were opposed to holding the Olympic went viral on Japanese Twitter recently, being retweeted hundreds of thousands of times. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae, File)
Now playing
02:03
Setbacks continue for Tokyo Olympics as Games are 10 weeks out
screengrab palestinian
CNN
screengrab palestinian
Now playing
05:21
Palestinians fight eviction from homes in East Jerusalem
CNN's Rosemary Church speaks with Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, President of the Palestinian National Initiative political party, about the intensifying violence between Israelis and Palestinians.
CNN
CNN's Rosemary Church speaks with Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, President of the Palestinian National Initiative political party, about the intensifying violence between Israelis and Palestinians.
Now playing
04:16
Palestinian politician: Israel's behavior led to this escalation
screengrab kabul bomb
Reuters
screengrab kabul bomb
Now playing
01:35
Families of schoolgirls describe anguish after blast kills dozens
Reuters
Now playing
01:12
Rare purple-pink diamond could break auction record
(CNN) —  

Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko warned that his country’s simmering conflict with Russia could quickly spiral into full-scale confrontation following a maritime clash between the two countries over the weekend.

The incident between the Kiev and Moscow ended with three Ukrainian ships in Russian custody. Ukraine and Russia have offered conflicting accounts of what happened, each accusing the other of violating the laws of the sea.

Poroshenko says Sunday’s events were “extraordinary,” accusing Russia of attacking his country’s ships.

Russia and Ukraine have been locked in long-simmering conflict since the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014, and a war with Russian-backed separatists in the country’s east has claimed more than 10,000 lives.

“Officially, without tearing off chevrons, without ‘green men,’ Russian troops in large numbers attacked the ships of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” Poroshenko said on his website, referring to soldiers during the 2014 invasion and annexation of Crimea who were not wearing insignia on their green uniforms.

The Ukrainian President also said Russia appeared to be building military presence along the border with his country.

“And that is why I don’t want anybody to think that it’s a trifle. The country is under the threat of a full-scale war with the Russian Federation,” Poroshenko said. There have also been reports of Russian missiles being moved in the aftermath of the standoff.

The Russian military will deploy additional S-400 air-defense systems to Crimea, Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti reported, citing the head of the press service of Russia’s Southern Military District, Vadim Astafyev.

Footage obtained by the news agency Ruptly showed what it claimed to be an Russian anti-ship missile system being moved on a highway in Crimea. Ruptly is owned by Russia Today, an English-language news channel funded by the Russian government and frequently criticized as a propaganda mouthpiece for Moscow.

Russia Today reported the Ruptly footage showed the missile system being transported along a highway in Crimea toward Kerch.

The crisis has sparked international condemnation over Russia’s use of force and will likely be discussed at the upcoming G20 summit in Argentina.

In an interview with The Washington Post, US President Donald Trump floated the possibility of canceling his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at G20 over the incident.

Trump told the Post he’d make a decision after he received a full report on the Kerch Strait incident Tuesday night.

“That will be very determinative,” Trump said of the report. “Maybe I won’t have the meeting.”

01:51 - Source: CNN
Ukraine President: Russia broke international law

Martial law

Earlier, Poroshenko told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had pledged “full assistance, including military assistance” to Ukraine.

The decision comes after a confrontation between the two countries around a waterway linking the Azov Sea and the Black Sea, when Russia fired on and seized three Ukrainian navy ships and detained 24 Ukrainian sailors.

Dueling narratives: What Russia and Ukraine said happened Sunday

  • Ukraine said two of its small gunboats and one tugboat were attacked by Russian naval forces Sunday after entering the Kerch Strait en route to the city of Mariupol.
  • Video of the incident released by Ukrainian officials appeared to show a Russian ship ramming the Ukrainian tugboat.
  • The incident provoked fury in Kiev, while Russia accused Ukraine of acting as the aggressor and called the incident a "dangerous provocation" by Kiev.
  • The Kerch Strait -- a shallow, narrow stretch of water just two to three miles wide at one point -- connects the Azov Sea with the Black Sea and runs between the Crimean Peninsula and Russia. It is an important economic lifeline for Ukraine, as it allows its ships to access the Black Sea.
  • It's also the closest point of access for Russia to Crimea, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014. A Russian-built bridge over the Kerch Strait was opened in May.
  • A 2003 agreement confirms the Azov Sea and the Kerch Strait as domestic waters of Russia and Ukraine.

Ukraine is scheduled introduce martial law in a handful of provinces on Wednesday at 9 a.m. local time for a period of 30 days.

Poroshenko said emergency measures will be introduced only in regions bordering Russia, or adjacent to regions where Russian troops are posted. That includes regions bordering the Azov and Black Seas and a portion of the border with Moldova’s Transnistria region, where Russian troops are stationed.

Poroshenko also said the Ukrainian government was considering limiting Russians’ ability to enter Ukraine during the period of martial law.

“One of the proposals to our chief of general staff and the chief of the border control is that (there) would be some limits for Russians to enter to Ukraine during this special period,” Poroshenko said from Kiev, adding that a final decision would likely be made Wednesday.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Ukraine’s decision to introduce martial law had a “barely camouflaged” political agenda, although he added that the move was an internal matter for Kiev.

“This is Ukraine’s internal business,” Peskov said before adding, “Against the background of the electoral processes, of course, such decision to impose martial law has a very specific, barely camouflaged overtone.”

Ukraine is slated to have presidential elections in March.

Sailors to be detained for two months

Poroshenko’s comments come after a court in Russian-controlled Crimea ordered that 12 of the Ukrainian sailors captured during clashes Sunday be detained for two months. It was a move likely to further inflame tensions between the two countries.

One of the captured Ukrainian sailors speaks with his lawyer in a court room Tuesday in Simferopol, Crimea.
AP
One of the captured Ukrainian sailors speaks with his lawyer in a court room Tuesday in Simferopol, Crimea.

A judge in the Crimean town of Simferopol said Tuesday that they have been detained pending trial, charged with trespassing the Russian border, Russian state media reported.

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) released video of one of the sailors confessing in Russian. It’s unclear if his statement was made under duress.

Footage released by Russia's FSB shows a Ukrainian sailor in Russian custody. The sailor, speaking in Russian, is seen in a video confessing to provoking Russian ships in the Kerch Strait Sunday. It's unclear if his statement was made under duress.
FSB via TASS news agency
Footage released by Russia's FSB shows a Ukrainian sailor in Russian custody. The sailor, speaking in Russian, is seen in a video confessing to provoking Russian ships in the Kerch Strait Sunday. It's unclear if his statement was made under duress.

The sailors, including the commander of a small Ukrainian gunboat, will be held under formal arrest in a detention center in Simferopol until January 25, the judge ruled.

Court proceedings will resume on Wednesday for the remaining sailors.

West criticizes Russian aggression

During an emergency UN Security Council meeting to defuse rising tensions after the confrontation, US Ambassador Nikki Haley called the incident “yet another reckless Russian escalation” and demanded that the Kremlin release the sailors.

“Impeding Ukraine’s lawful transit through the Kerch Strait is a violation under international law. It is an arrogant act that the international community must condemn and will never accept,” Haley said Monday.

Nikki Haley during a United Nations Security Council meeting on Ukraine on Monday in New York.
DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images
Nikki Haley during a United Nations Security Council meeting on Ukraine on Monday in New York.

European member states of the UN Security Council – including France, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and the UK – also issued a statement calling on Russia to restore freedom of passage at the Kerch Strait. The Estonian Minister of Defense called for the European Union to impose new sanctions against Russia over the aggression.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ spokesman issued a statement saying Guterres is “greatly concerned.” He urged “both parties to exercise maximum restraint and to take steps without delay to contain this incident and reduce tensions through all available peaceful means in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.”

CNN’s Nathan Hodge, Mick Krever, Stephanie Halasz and Lauren Said-Moorhouse contributed to this story