Putin lashes out at West for backing Ukraine

Russia announces new S 400 surface to air missiles deployment in Crimea

Russian President Vladimir Putin has for the first time commented on the incident that occurred between Russian and Ukrainian ships in the Kerch Strait.

Ukraine's parliament voted Monday to impose martial law in parts of the country to fight what its president called "growing aggression" from Moscow, after a weekend naval clash off the disputed Crimean Peninsula in which Russian Federation fired on and seized three Ukrainian vessels amid renewed tensions between the neighbors. US officials have urged the Kremlin to release the captured Ukrainian sailors and to respect the Russian-Ukrainian treaty of free navigation in the Kerch Strait, which dates back to 2003.

National Security adviser John Bolton said Mr Trump will also be meeting with German chancellor Angela Merkel, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, Argentine president Mauricio Macri, South Korea's Moon Jae-in, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Indian prime minister Narendra Modi.

The 10 provinces all border Russia or Moldova's breakaway Transdniester region, where Russian troops are stationed, or have coastlines on the Black Sea or the Sea of Azov close to Crimea.

Putin said it was a deliberate "provocation" by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, orchestrated to bolster his standing ahead of presidential elections next year.

"They have nothing else to do", Putin said during a business forum in Moscow.

The Ukrainian parliament on Monday voted in favour of Poroshenko's request for the introduction of martial law in border areas for 30 days.

Storm Diana to bring gale-force winds to Preston
Before then, Monday is expected to remain chilly and bright for most parts, although there will be some showers in the east. Temperatures could climb to around an seasonably mild 14degC as the wind moves round to the south or south-east.

Among other things, martial law gives Ukrainian authorities the power to order a partial mobilization, strengthen air defenses, and take steps "to strengthen the counterintelligence, counterterrorism, and counter-sabotage regime and information security". "It is an excuse to introduce martial law in Ukraine", RIA Novosti cites the president. This appears to run counter to the claims of the Ukrainian government, which said the ships were approaching from another direction and were firmly in global waters.

Kurt Volker, the USA special envoy to Ukraine, told reporters in Berlin that Washington sees no reason to doubt the information from Kiev that its vessels were operating in line with worldwide maritime rules.

The S-400 "Triumph" is Russia's latest and most advanced anti-aircraft and missile defense system.

Russia's Southern Military District spokesman Vadim Astafyev told Interfax on Wednesday that a fourth S-400 battalion would soon be deployed in Crimea.

"Ukraine is under threat of full-scale war with Russia", Poroshenko said. Speaking to reporters as smoke billowed from a nearby shooting range, the camouflage-clad Poroshenko pledged "not to allow the enemy to attack Ukraine" and announced a hike in salaries for military members.

The rest are expected to face trial on Wednesday, she said, while three others were still in hospital after being wounded in the weekend clash.

Nine more Ukrainian sailors captured during Sunday's confrontation with Russia in a strait next to Crimea have been sent to jail for two months by a Russian court.

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