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Soldiers and emergency workers are battling to clean up an oil spill that has reportedly killed some 30,000 birds in the Kerch Strait, by the Black Sea.
Alexander Tkachev, governor of Russia's Krasnodar region, said the incident was an "ecological catastrophe".
Some 2,000 tons of fuel oil leaked into the straits between the Black Sea and the Azov Sea after a fierce storm broke a tanker apart on Sunday.
About 10 ships sank or ran aground in the region and 20 sailors are missing.