As reported by Censor.NET, the press service of the Ukrainian Navy said in a statement that Ukraine exercised its right to free movement through the Kerch Strait and in the Sea of Azov under the UN Convention and international agreements.
However, according to the Navy, tensions escalated during the maneuver: "In the Black Sea, the Ukrainian warships were escorted by the Russian Black Sea Fleet reconnaissance vessel Priazovye and Russian border guard vessels Ametist and Don. More than 10 ships and boats of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) and the Black Sea Fleet escorted our vessels passing the Kerch Strait. The aggressor state’s aircraft repeatedly flew over our ships, including at extremely low altitudes."
The Navy press service added that Russia resorted to a number of dangerous provocations: "On Sept. 20 at about 5 p.m., the Russian reconnaissance ship Priazovye approached the Ukrainian vessels over the distance of two cable lengths in blatant violation of the international rules causing extremely perilous situation. On Sept. 21, the Russian Su-27 fighter (based in temporarily occupied Crimea, tail number 30) caused a near-crash situation by getting too close to Ukrainian An-26 air carrier."
The Navy said that the Ukrainian small armored artillery boats Kremenchuk and Lubny departed from the port of Berdiansk in the direction of the Kerch crossing, to meet the two vessels.
"The resources and capabilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, including aviation, are also ready to respond to possible threats ... The Ukrainian Navy will not allow the aggressor state to turn the Sea of Azov into its inner lake," the Navy said.