According to the Guardian, Russia threatened to retaliate as well, if arrests were made, but according to a spokesman for the Russian embassy in Kyiv, the crewmembers are heading back to Russia.

Moreover, the Russian agency Interfax, cited an unnamed source noting that there were about 15 crew on board, while around 10 crew members had been questioned.


In addition, the SBU claimed that the ship had participated in blocking the three Ukrainian ships in the Kerch strait last year. The 24 sailors seized during the November incident in the strait have been held in Russian prisons ever since.

Russia had accused the vessels for illegally entering Russian territorial waters, something that Ukraine has denied. However, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea pointed out that Russia should release the sailors.

Their release is Ukraine's new president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, priority.