Ukraine detains ship that illegally entered Russian-occupied ports – Ukrainian Navy
Usko Mfu ship (Photo: Bosphorus Observer Yörük Işik)

Ukraine has detained a cargo ship that entered ports temporarily occupied by Russia in violation of Ukrainian and international law, said the spokesman for the Ukrainian Navy, Dmytro Pletenchuk.

Stay updated with the latest news by following us on X (Twitter)

He confirmed that Navy-subordinate structures detained a cargo ship that entered occupied ports for commercial purposes – thereby violating Ukrainian and international law.

Pletenchuk said that the detention was carried out in compliance with all relevant procedures.

"Yes, it will not be possible to ignore Ukraine's lawful demands in the Black Sea," the spokesman noted.

The military did not name the ship, but social media and news outlets reported the detention of the Usko Mfu vessel, sailing under the Cameroonian flag, on the Danube.

In particular, Lloyd's List, citing the ship's agent Avalon Shipping, wrote that the ship was sailing from the Moldovan port of Giurgiulesti when a military boat approached it – this happened in Romanian waters.

At the same time, the newspaper notes that the Danube is a narrow waterway and the section through which the arrested ship was sailing borders both Romania and Ukraine.

Usko Mfu 4 липня на скриншоті Lloyd’s List Intelligence / Seasearcher
Usko Mfu 4th July on Lloyd’s List Intelligence / Seasearcher screenshot

Avalon Shipping reported that the military vessel forced Usko Mfu to anchor in the Ukrainian city of Reni – it was searched and banned from leaving the port.

Usko Mfu is loaded with barley, its destination was Souda in Greece, media reports.

Lloyd's List, citing an obtained court document, writes that the ship's arrest was made at the request of the Prosecutor's Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.

The document is an initial draft and does not contain details, the full court decision is expected in the coming days, the publication notes.

According to geopolitical consultant Yörük Işik of Bosphorus Observer, the main part of the accusation is the arrested ship's last voyage to occupied Sevastopol, where the ship unloaded cargo from Turkey.

In May, Usko Mfu loaded, presumably gypsum, at the port of Eregli, and delivered it directly to Sevastopol, according to Lloyd's List.

Işik noted that this ship is a "repeat offender" and that the Crimean prosecutor's office has been tracking this ship for some time.

In particular, Usko Mfu transported grain from occupied Sevastopol to Turkey in November 2023, the publication notes.

Read also: Navy: Ukraine destroyed five Russian ships with drone-laid mines