When Crimea became a part of Russia through referendum, Ukraine practically lost the right to free passage through the Kerch strait. The recent Kerch incident that took place when Ukraine took things for granted, violated the norms of international law and then met a strong Russian response tells a story not of Ukraine trying to assert its rights that don’t exist in the first place, but a story of how Ukraine is in the middle of a thought-out plan to engage Russia in a conflict. Interestingly enough, this wasn’t the first time that Ukrainian ships/vessels wanted to pass the strait. They had done so on another occasion as well, but at that time they had followed the procedures, met Russian demands and rules and gave notice about their passage in advance, and had requested permission through proper channels. Therefore, the question is: if Ukraine had behaved properly in the past, why did it violate the set rules now and why has the West taken this matter as “Russian aggression”? Surely, the intent is to turn Kerch strait into a conflict zone.
The mantra of “Russian aggression” is a false projection. For one thing, Ukrainian vessels weren’t some fishing boats; those were naval vessels, which were clearly violating both international law and the norms that Ukrainian vessels had followed in their previous passage. It was, as such, the Ukrainians who were the true aggressors, yet the Western pundits have chosen to call Russia the aggressor, adding to the ever prevalent and never ending Russophobia, and the threat of some Russian all-out attack.
This is how hawks of the American Foreign Policy Council have painted the situation, and are wanting a further escalation of the situation by urging the West to jump in militarily. After painting a dangerous ‘Russian aggression’ in the strait, the author of this article states that:
Ukraine does not have the means to counter these threats. What it needs is foreign help in the form of weapons from the United States so that it can build a joint land, sea, and (if necessary) air force to deter Russian military actions in order to relieve economic pressure. US Ambassador Kurt Volker has stated Washington’s willingness to offer Ukraine more weapons. This statement now needs to be backed up by action.