Bulgaria sea coast

The Russian Navy establishes a blockade of the Ukrainian Black Sea coast

Russian naval forces have established a “remote blockade” of Ukraine’s Black Sea coast, the British Ministry of Defense said on Sunday, warning that Russian warships were continuing their attacks from the sea and may be plotting attacks. landings from it.

The blockade has left Ukraine “effectively isolated” from international maritime trade as the Russian Navy continues to carry out missile strikes against the country and plan amphibious landing operations, according to British intelligence.

“Russian naval forces have established a distant blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea coast, effectively isolating Ukraine from international maritime trade,” Britain’s Ministry of Defense said in an intelligence update on Sunday. job on Twitter.

“Russian naval forces also continue to conduct missile strikes against targets across Ukraine. Russia has already conducted an amphibious landing in the Sea of ​​Azov and may consider conducting further such operations in the coming weeks,” the update continues.

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At the start of the invasion last month, US defense officials confirmed a Russian amphibious assault consisting of naval infantry landing from the Sea of ​​Azov, west of Mariupol, in the southern Oblast of Donetsk.

While Russian ships control the shipping lanes, the Ukrainian military is said to have had some success on the Black Sea during the war.

On March 8, the Ukrainian army claimed that it had destroyed the Vasily Bykov near the port city of Odessa, one of two Russian warships that led the assault on Snake Island in the Black Sea last month. The government says it is one of two Russian ships to have been destroyed in the war so far.

Ukraine, the world’s second largest grain shipper, has about 1,700 miles of coastline along the Black Sea and Sea of ​​Azov and 15 merchant seaports.

The blockade risks disrupting a major trade corridor for Ukraine and other countries with a Black Sea coast, including Georgia to the east, Turkey to the south, and Bulgaria and Romania to the west. Russia also has a sea coast.

Russian forces took control of the other key waterway, the Sea of ​​Azov, and shut down shipping in and out of it at the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine last month.

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The United Nations maritime agency said on Friday it would seek to create a “safe maritime corridor” to allow merchant ships and their crews stranded in the Black Sea and the Sea of ​​Azov to sail again without risking attack.

Hundreds of merchant ships have run aground in the Black Sea and the Sea of ​​Azov since the start of the war, and at least five have been hit, according to reports.