Russian navy using civilian ships as human shields, Ukraine claims

Ukrainian military: Russia made a civilian vessel enter a dangerous zone so that it could use it as a shield to cover the movement of Russian warships.

 Permanent group of the Russian Navy in the Mediterranean Sea, 2016 (photo credit: Russian Ministry of Defence/Wikimedia Commons)
Permanent group of the Russian Navy in the Mediterranean Sea, 2016
(photo credit: Russian Ministry of Defence/Wikimedia Commons)

The Russian Black Sea Fleet was accused of using civilian vessels as human shields by the Armed Forces of Ukraine on Wednesday.

The war at sea 

"For the safety of civil navigation, the Navy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine closed navigation in the north-western part of the Black Sea," the General Staff of the Armed Forces in a statement. "At the same time, the Russian Black Sea Fleet continues the tactics of Russian ground forces trying to hide behind civilian lives."

The Ukrainian military claimed that on Wednesday the Russia Navy made the Panamanian flagged general cargo ship Helt enter a dangerous zone of the Black Sea so that it could use the civilian vessel as a shield to cover the movement of Russian warships.

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"It will be recalled that during the full-scale invasion on February 24, the Russian fleet had already fired on 2 civilian ships,"  The Ukrainian Armed Forces noted.

A Moldovan vessel sailing under a Romanian flag was damaged by a Russian warship, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine alleged on Friday. The vessel, the Millenial Spirit, was reportedly traveling to Odessa when it was damaged. 

 Russian minesweeper ''Vladimir Yemelyanov'' sails during the exercises of the Russian Navy in the Mediterranean Sea, February 15, 2022. (credit: RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS) Russian minesweeper ''Vladimir Yemelyanov'' sails during the exercises of the Russian Navy in the Mediterranean Sea, February 15, 2022. (credit: RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

On February 24, Two civilian ships were hit by Ukrainian missiles in the Sea of Azov, according to Russian media.