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Ukraine closes border to Russian men of combat age, citing invasion fears

Ukraine closes border to Russian men of combat age, citing invasion fears

"Russian men aged 16 to 60 have been barred from entering the country", he said at a meeting dedicated to ensuring the country's defense capability in the situation of martial law, which also involved Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko.

The Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, tweeted that the latest measure was created to prevent Russia from forming units of "private" armies, "which in reality are representatives of the armed forces of the Russian Federation", on Ukrainian soil.

Russian coast guard ships on Sunday fired on and seized the Ukrainian vessels as they headed toward a contested strait close to Crimea, taking prisoner 24 Ukrainian sailors and triggering an global crisis.

"This meeting is necessary for both sides", Ushakov told reporters.

The statement was strongly worded but will disappoint some European Union members hoping for a harder joint line, after officials had earlier said the bloc was considering new sanctions against Moscow.

Russian Federation fired on and then seized three Ukrainian ships on Sunday, accusing them of illegally entering its waters in the Sea of Azov, in a dramatic spike in tensions that raises fears of a wider escalation.

"We can only resolve this in talks with one another because there is no military solution to all of these conflicts", she added. But, by asserting that the vessels entered Russian waters illegally, not to mention escalating tensions with the West, Putin may be hoping to breathe new life into the siege narrative, thereby inspiring the kind of primitive patriotism on which he has long relied.

Merkel told a Ukrainian business summit in Berlin on Thursday that Germany is urging the release of the ships and crews and that she would confront Putin at the summit.

Poroshenko has requested North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to deploy ships to the area. The Russian military has announced a "division" of S-400 missiles has been urgently deployed at Dzhankoy, in northern Crimea-a strategically important crossroads, where the main rail and highway connecting Crimea with Moscow traverse the salty Sivash marshes that form the Western tip of the Sea of Azov.

"Putin wants the old Russian empire back", he said.

More news: USA judge delays ruling on 'interesting' Julian Assange case

Poroshenko's decree comes days after he assumed martial law powers in Russian Federation following a maritime skirmish in the Kerch Strait that joins the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov through Crimea.

That year saw the start of an armed conflict in eastern Ukraine between government forces and Russian-backed separatists that has claimed more than 10,000 lives.

After the naval skirmish, Poroshenko, supported by a majority in the parliament declared 30 days of martial law in regions bordering Russian Federation.

The latest confrontation began last weekend as the three small vessels tried to pass through the narrow Kerch Strait separating Russia's mainland from Crimea. "The goal of Russia's military aggression is to establish full control over the Black Sea to influence the countries of the region".

Poroshenko said martial law will help "strengthen Ukraine's defense capabilities amid increasing aggression and according to worldwide law, a cold act of aggression by the Russian Federation".

A Crimean court earlier this week ruled to keep the Ukrainian seamen behind bars for two months pending the investigation.

For a long time, the slogan "we can repeat" - a reference to the Soviet Union's WWII victory - was popular in Russian Federation.

President Trump has called off a meeting with Vladimir Putin to signal the United States' disapproval of Russian behaviour in the naval clash.

Ukraine's foreign ministry sent Moscow a diplomatic note in protest at the "illegal" detentions.


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