Ukraine calls up reservists over Russian invasion fear

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko addresses soldiers as he inspects military exercises in the Ukrainian Ground Forces training centre near Honcharivske in Chernihiv region Ukraine

The Russian coast guard fired upon and seized three Ukrainian naval vessels and 24 seamen in the Black Sea on November 25 as they sailed to the Kerch Strait, the only waterway leading to the Sea of Azov.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Saturday his country had stepped up security at vital infrastructure sites such as nuclear power stations and Black Sea ports in the face of what he called a Russian test of the world order.

German chancellor Angela Merkel aired her concerns with Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit over a blockade that targets Ukraine, then ripped Russian aggression at the gathering Saturday.

Ukrainian tanks unload in Mariupol trade port in Mariupol, south coast of Azov sea, eastern Ukraine, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018.

Putin, also speaking in Buenos Aires, said he told foreign leaders "how the situation unfolded" and then accused Ukraine's government of stoking the conflict "to cover up one's failures in economic and social policy".

Trump on Thursday announced on Twitter that "it would be best for all parties concerned" if he and Putin did not meet as planned because Ukrainian ships and sailors recently seized in the Sea of Azov had not been released by Russian Federation.

In the Nov 25 incident, three Ukrainian naval vessels were heading from the Black Sea into the Sea of Azov when they were blocked by the Russian coast guard near the Kerch Strait between Russia's mainland and Crimea. But following Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, Moscow has asserted greater control over the passage.

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Poroshenko said on Monday that some reservists will be summoned for training as part of martial law.

The UK does not now have a presence in the Black Sea but Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said Ukraine was a "steadfast partner" and that Britain would continue to carry out joint training programmes and military exercises.

'Ukraine is taking its own steps in response to the threat of a large-scale Russian invasion, ' the Ukrainian leader said.

Ties between Ukraine and Russian Federation have been damaged by Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea and support for armed rebels in eastern Ukraine. An unsteady cease-fire has been in place there since 2015.

Putin put blame on Ukraine for the latest dispute between the two countries, adding that he considered it "too early" to return the ships and sailors.

But the media company Bellingcat, which uses open source data and social media to conduct investigations into global conflicts, determined that Ukrainian ships had attempted to flee from the Russians, but the Russians had attempted to use lethal force against the Ukrainian sailors.

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