Fishing vessel NORD arrest and scandal – all you should know

The scandal over arrest of fishing vessel NORD under Russian flag by Ukraine is still on and growing. The ship was detained by Ukrainian Coast Guard on Mar 25 in Azov sea in, allegedly, Ukrainian territorial waters, and taken to port Berdyansk, Ukraine, Azov sea. Russia immediately said arrest was illegal, because Russian ship was fishing outside Ukrainian waters, in international waters. Russia is of course lying:
1. NORD doesn’t have AIS system and doesn’t even have any other ID except name, it’s a coastal fishing vessel, so there’s no track to prove Russian claim, and more to that, Azov sea has a status of inner sea, with fishing grounds being determined by a special bilateral agreement;
2. Russia already libeled this detention “piracy act”, somehow forgetting, that the ship was annexed together with Crimean Peninsula in 2014, or hijacked, and re-flagged with violation of all existing laws and regulations;
3. The ship’s crew were detained for violation of border/passport regulations, they’ll be most probably, fined, and expelled to Russia or to be more exact, to Crimea, because they’re all residents of annexed peninsula. Nobody is torturing them and they don’t experience any shortages of anything, from power to food and water. All Russian MOF yells about “inhuman conditions” the crew live in, are just that – Russian propaganda;
4. Why Russian authorities and media ran amok over this rather trivial incident, and go on with inflaming it? No secret here, either – because regime is trying to distract Russian population from a number of tragic accidents which took place recently, and stirred mass unrest, especially the horrific death of dozens (or hundreds, there’s already a massive cover-up) children in major fire in Kemerovo, Siberia.
The majority of Russian people look and behave like normal and reasonable people until it touches patriotism and nationalism, in a way they understand it. When it comes to patriotism, namely Russian patriotism, all reasons and common sense are lost with them. It’s an unfailing tune played by Russian regimes of all times, from Tsarist to Soviet to modern.
NORD is a small seiner-trawler for Black sea – Azov sea fishing, SCHS-225 project, some 70 ships were built during 1983-1987, displacement 190 tons, length 26 meters, crew 11.

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My name is Mikhail Voytenko, I’m Russian, professional merchant marine navigator, by education and former experience. I own and run Maritime Bulletin website for more than 10 years. I've been involved in solving a number of piracy hijack cases, including the hijack of ro-ro FAINA, loaded with tanks. It was me who made public, and unravel, freighter ARCTIC SEA mystery. I've been also closely involved in a number of maritime disaster, one of them being MSC FLAMINIA major fire.