Intelligence Says Russia May Use Sea Mines to Hinder Civilian Shipping in Black Sea
According to Intelligence, Russia will hinder civilian shipping in the Black Sea by laying sea mines in Ukrainian ports.
Russia Targets Civilian Shipping
Even if Russia withdrew its fleet from the Black Sea, it doesn’t mean the war with Ukraine is far from over. Based on publicised information, Russia will continue targeting civilian shipping by planting sea mines.
Previously, the United Kingdom warned the Russian military attempted a missile strike against a cargo ship traversing the Black Sea. Britain said that Russia would handicap civilian shipping that would cross through Ukraine’s ‘humanitarian corridor’ to stave off the export of Ukrainian grain.
Russia won’t stop pressuring the Ukrainian economy and will do anything to bring it down. It wants to dodge openly wrecking civilian ships. Instead, it would maliciously blame Ukraine for any attacks against civilian ships in the Black Sea.
The UK government works with Ukraine and other partners to better the safety of shipping. They established intelligence, surveillance, and investigation to keep track of Russian activities in the Black Sea.
Moreover, the government ensures that Ukraine could keep exporting agricultural produce through all significant routes. These courses include its ‘humanitarian corridor,’ overland through the Danube.
During the G20 in September, the Prime Minister disclosed an additional £3 million to fund the World Food Programme to help Ukraine deliver grains to the world’s poorest.
”Russia’s pernicious targeting of civilian shipping in the Black Sea demonstrates Putin’s total disregard for civilian lives and the needs of the world’s most vulnerable. The world is watching – and we see right through Russia’s cynical attempts to lay blame on Ukraine for their attacks. We and our allies stand united against Putin and his attempts to harm Ukraine and thus harm the rest of the world,” said Foreign Secretary James Cleverly.
Since Russia withdrew from the Black Sea Grain Initiative, it has destroyed 130 port infrastructure facilities in Chornomorsk, Reni, and Odesa. It also devastated nearly 300,000 tonnes of grain. That was more than the entire amount that Russia vowed to donate to African states. Additionally, it’s enough to feed more than 1.3 million people for a year.
Heeding the Warning for Safety Shipping
The warning regarding the Russian sea mines came before 12 cargo vessels could enter a Black Sea shipping corridor heading to Ukrainian ports. Ukrainian Navy spokesperson Dmytro Pletenchuk stated that over 20 ships were readying to depart and enter Ukraine’s sea ports.
“In total to enter the new corridor we have 12, and 10 to leave. That is as of now,” Pletenchuk said. He didn’t disclose when the vessels would be sailing.
Seven new cargo vessels have entered Ukrainian waters in the past few days. According to local Ukrainian officials and lawmakers, these vessels will ship at least 127,000 tonnes of Ukrainian-origin grain abroad. Also, Kyiv has escalated imports from its ports on the Danube River to Romania.
In July, Russia abandoned a deal that enabled Ukraine to safely ship its food products via the Black Sea. Traditionally, it’s the latter’s main export corridor.
Since Russia’s withdrawal from the grain deal, Ukraine’s attack on Russia’s Black Sea fleet in the Moscow-annexed Crimean peninsula, including the port city of Sevastopol has risen. Russia, on the other hand, conducted aerial attacks on Ukraine’s ports using drones and missile raids. The attacks destroyed 130 infrastructures and spoiled almost 300,000 tonnes of grains.
Sabotaging Civilian Shipping to Ukraine
According to experts, Russia can lay sea mines close to the Black Sea, using its three Kilo-class submarines, which can carry 24 mines. The Kremlin expects these mines will discourage cargo ships from carrying Ukrainian grain to major markets, including East Africa, the Middle East, and beyond.
Since July, merchant ships that carry Ukrainian grain for export have endured threats. This started when Russia withdrew from a year-long initiative to protect food exports regardless of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
In August, Russia attacked a Libyan-flagged tanker in Odesa with two Kalibr cruise missiles. Ukraine brought down the missiles successfully, prompting Russia to change its strategy.