After three Ukrainian boats intruded into Russian territorial waters, Russia is now stopping ships moving into the Sea of Azov from the Black Sea.

According to Russian media reports, a cargo ship has been placed under the Kerch Strait bridge.

As reported by Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster, Russia has shut off access to the Sea of Azov from the Black Sea, accusing Ukrainian vessels of traversing its territorial waters without permission.

Earlier in the day, a Russian coast guard vessel rammed a Ukrainian navy tugboat, resulting in damage to the ship’s engines and hull, the Ukrainian navy said.

The incident happened when two Ukrainian navy artillery boats and a tugboat were transiting from Odessa on the Black Sea to Mariupol in the Sea of Azov, via the Kerch Strait, a narrow passage between Crimea and the Russian mainland.

Both sides quickly traded blame over the incident. Russian media cited authorities as saying that Kyiv had sought to “create a conflict situation”.

Ukraine insisted it had informed Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) in advance about the ships’ movement.