Ukraine bans Russian men from entering country amid invasion fears

New travel restrictions will not apply in humanitarian cases

Ukraine said on Monday that it will not allow Russian men aged 16-60 into the country under martial law, except under "humanitarian" cases.

Add to this mix the reflexive response of many in the U.S. Congress and media by calling for Washington to beef up its naval presence in the Black Sea and expand lethal arms supplies to Ukraine, and the pathways to a Ukrainian-Russian war turned regional or global take shape.

But Ukraine and foreign observers said it marked the culmination of a yearslong effort by Moscow to force its authority on the Sea of Azov, the waters of which are shared between the two countries, according to a 2003 agreement.

The crew members were then captured - 24 in total - and have now been given two months in pre-trial detention.

The Ukraine parliament votes in favor of Poroshenko's request for the introduction of martial law in border areas for 30 days.

A detained Ukrainian sailor - one of 24 now detained by Russian authorities - is escorted to a vehicle after a court hearing in Simferopol, Crimea, on Wednesday.

There has been growing hostility between Ukraine and Russian Federation since Moscow's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.

Moscow later backed pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine in a conflict in which more than 10,000 people have been killed.

The latest crisis led US President Donald Trump to cancel a meeting with Russia's Vladimir Putin at a summit of world leaders in Argentina. The three commanders have been taken to Moscow, she said.

"Today's European Commission decision on disbursement comes at a crucial moment when Ukraine and its people face a new aggression from Russian Federation and need to see solidarity from worldwide partners", said Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis.

"Europe is united in its support to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity".

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian intelligence agency announced on Friday that they are investigating a senior cleric of the Russian Orthodox Church. He said the cleric is suspected of "inciting hatred".

The Pechersk Monastery, the spiritual center of Ukraine, is under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The Ukrainian church, which has been part of the Russian Orthodox Church for centuries, has moved closer to forming an independent church - fuelled by conflict with Russia Ukraine's Orthodox communities earlier this year.

Ukraine now has three Orthodox communities - one that stays under Moscow's control and two schismatic churches. One is heard saying "the actions of the Ukrainian armed vessels in the Kerch Strait had a provocative character" - parroting the version put forward by Russian authorities.

Commenting on the incident, Russian President Vladimir Putin described it as a provocation, which was likely related to the low approval rating of Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko ahead of the upcoming presidential election.

On Sunday, three Ukrainian naval ships attempting to sail through the Kerch Strait from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov were attacked and seized by Russian forces, which believed that the ships breached the Russian border.

Citing a Crimean security source, Interfax news agency also reported Russian plans to build a new missile early-warning radar station in Crimea next year that would be able to track ballistic and cruise missiles from a long distance. She said she met with some of them and they appeared to be in good shape.

The seamen are still being kept behind bars pending an investigation.

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