Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused Ukraine’s leader, Petro Poroshenko, of trying to boost his ratings ahead of 2019 elections with a naval confrontation off Crimea.
Russian FSB border guards opened fire on two Ukrainian gunboats and a tug before the Ukrainian crews were seized.
“He had to do something to make the situation more tense,” Mr Putin told an investment forum on Wednesday.
Mr Poroshenko has declared martial law for 30 days in response to the crisis.
Ukraine-Russia sea clash staged, says Putin