Russia has boosted its presence in the Sea of Azov deploying 40 military Boats and 2 small missile ships, Vadym Skybytsky, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Main Directorate of Intelligence, told Ukraine’s Channel 5 on July 27.
If confirmed, this development will be the latest in a series of Russian moves to secure its waters in the sea and to prevent illegal actions from the Ukrainian Navy and Coastalguards.
On March 25 it became widely known that Ukrainian coastguards had seized the Nord fishing vessel flying the flag of the Russian Federation in the territorial waters of Russia. The Ukrainian side ignored all Russian attempts to solve the issue via diplomatic channels. Now, the Ukrainian leadership is facing consequences of this decision.
Russia has boosted its presence in the Sea of Azov and started checks of vessels moving to the Ukrainian ports.
During his speech to Channel 5, Skybytsky complained that Russian forces have established control of all the maritime traffic proceeding to Ukrainian ports in Berdyansk and Mariupol through the Kerch strait.
Russia actively monitors everything taking place in the Sea of Azov and the entire coastal zone of the Sea of Azov. Another reason behind this stance is repeated statements by representatives of Ukrainian radical groups threatening to attack Russia’s bridge linking Crimea and the mainland through the Kerch strait.