The Prymorskyi District Court of Odesa ordered in-absentia arrest of the Varyag vessel on 1 November for illegally performing trips between the Russia-occupied Crimea and Turkey. The vessel is owned by a Russian company registered in St. Petersburg.

According to the court’s ruling, which is posted on the website of the State Register of Court Judgments, the relevant lawsuit was filed by the military prosecutor for the Odesa garrison. According to the prosecutor, investigators have established that the Panamanian-flagged Varyag vessel systematically performed illegal trips between Sevastopol and the port of Zonguldak (Turkey) without obtaining permission from the authorized Ukrainian agencies.

According to the prosecutor, the Varyag performed 18 trips between the ports of Sevastopol and Zonguldak in 2015: five trips in August 2015, three in September, four in October, four in November, and two in December.

After a long break, the vessel resumed trips on this route on 28 October, when it left Sevastopol for Turkey.

The 115-meter Varyag vessel was built in 1981.