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The detention of the V. Uspensky: an artificial sensation2009-04-07 23:56
The Georgian coastguards have detained the V. Uspensky cargo ship, which has 14 Russian crew members on board. The Russian media community immediately drew a parallel between the actions of the Georgian coastguard and Somali pirates. In actual fact, no information has yet been given, and passions are already starting to run high.
During the night of 6/7 April, it was actually reported that a Georgian coast guard vessel had detained the V. Uspensky cargo ship, which has a Russian crew on board (of 14 people). The vessel, as the Naval Bulletin reported, was bound for the port of Azov, having set sail from the Turkish port of Hopo. Its operator is the company Volgo-Don Shippinh (based in Rostov-on-Don), and the ship sails under the Cambodian flag.
Just a few hours after the insignificant incident concerning the detention of the cargo vessel was first reported, it had become one of the main news items in the Russian media. They related that a team of 13 people armed with machine guns had come on board the ship, and the shipping documents and sailors' passports had been confiscated. An inspection was carried out, and the vessel was anchored in the port of Batumi while they looked into the situation. Then the inspection team left the vessel, taking with them all the shipping documentation and leaving behind four members of the Georgian coastguard on the ship.
Admittedly, svpressa.ru, which had got in contact with the editor-in-chief of the publication "Naval bulletin - Sovfreight", Mikhail Voytenko, published an admission from him that "in worldwide practice, shipping violations are quite a frequent occurrence". And usually, according to Voytenko, the problem is resolved peacefully, culminating in a customary warning. Because they can tell straight away that the vessel is not being used for poaching or smuggling. Voytenko admitted that it was not only Georgia which resorted to "detaining" vessels. North Korea and several African countries do the same thing, and even "we also sometimes act in this way". Therefore should our fellow journalists have been looking for a sensation where there isn't one?