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Russia removed the toilets from captured Ukrainian navy ships before returning them
KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian naval ships, captured by Russia last November and released on Tuesday to be returned to Ukraine, are in very poor condition and cannot move independently, the commander of Ukraine's navy said on Wednesday.
Russia seized three ships in the Kerch Strait last year after opening fire on them and wounding several sailors. Moscow said the ships - two small Ukrainian armored artillery vessels and a tug boat - had illegally entered its territorial waters. Kiev denied that.
The dispute has caused friction between Moscow and the West, which has backed the Ukrainian position that the ships should not have been held. The Kerch strait, which separates mainland Russia from Crimea, is the only outlet from the Azov Sea, where Ukraine has major cities and ports, and Ukraine says it cannot be denied access.
Ukrainian servicemen tug the vessel Nikopol, one of three Ukraine's naval ships captured in the Kerch Strait in November 2018 and then returned by Russia, in the port of Ochakiv, Ukraine November 20, 2019. (Reuters/Oleg Novikov)
Ukrainian navy chief Vice Admiral Ihor Voronchenko told Ukrainian television's '4th channel' the ships had not yet reached Ukrainian territorial waters because they were being towed so slowly.
"They do not go on their own. The Russians ruined them - even took off lamps, power outlets and toilets. We will show the whole world the Russian barbarism towards them."
Ukrainian servicemen gather near the vessel Nikopol, one of three Ukraine's naval ships captured in the Kerch Strait in November 2018 and then returned by Russia, in the port of Ochakiv, Ukraine November 20, 2019. (Reuters/Oleg Novikov)
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is due to greet the ships in the port of Ochakiv in the southern Mykolayiv region.
Moscow returned the sailors who had been on board the ships to Ukraine in September as part of a prisoner exchange.
The release of the ships took place ahead of a four-way peace summit on eastern Ukraine set for Dec. 9 in Paris. The leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine will meet in an attempt to advance efforts for a peaceful resolution to the conflict that has killed more than 13,000 people in five years.
The U.S. Space Force has a name tape for uniforms now. Get excited people.
In a tweet from its official account, the Space Force said its uniform name tapes have "touched down in the Pentagon," sharing a photo of it on the chest of Gen. John W. Raymond, the newly-minted Chief of Space Operations for the new service branch nested in the Department of the Air Force.
PALM BEACH, Fla. (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump gave a minute-to-minute account of the U.S. drone strikes that killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in remarks to a Republican fund-raising dinner on Friday night, according to audio obtained by CNN.
With his typical dramatic flourish, Trump recounted the scene as he monitored the strikes from the White House Situation Room when Soleimani was killed.
The U.S. Navy will name its fourth Ford-class aircraft carrier after Doris Miller, an iconic World War II sailor recognized for his heroism during the Pearl Harbor attack, according to reports in The Honolulu Star-Advertiser and U.S. Naval Institute News.
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly is expected to announce the naming of CVN-81 during a ceremony on Monday in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, according to USNI. Two of Miller's nieces are expected to be there, according to the Star-Advertiser.
Two immigrants, a pastor and an Army sergeant have been convicted of conspiracy to commit marriage fraud as part of an illegal immigration scheme, according to federal prosecutors.
Rajesh Ramcharan, 45; Diann Ramcharan, 37; Sgt. Galima Murry, 31; and the Rev. Ken Harvell, 60, were found guilty Thursday after a nine-day jury trial, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney's office in Colorado.
The conspiracy involved obtaining immigration benefits for Rajesh Ramcharan, Diann Ramcharan, and one of their minor children, the release said. A married couple in 2007 came to the U.S. from Trinidad and Tobago on visitor visas. They overstayed the visas and settled in Colorado.
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran said on Saturday it was sending to Ukraine the black boxes from a Ukrainian passenger plane that the Iranian military shot down this month, an accident that sparked unrest at home and added to pressure on Tehran from abroad.
Iran's Tasnim news agency also reported the authorities were prepared for experts from France, Canada and the United States to examine information from the data and voice recorders of the Ukraine International Airlines plane that came down on Jan. 8.
The plane disaster, in which all 176 aboard were killed, has added to international pressure on Iran as it grapples with a long running row with the United States over its nuclear program that briefly erupted into open conflict this month.