Natalia Humeniuk, head of the joint press center of the Operational Command "South", said this during the United News telethon.
According to her, there are currently quite many civilian vessels in the Black Sea along the coast of the temporarily occupied Crimea.
"Many foreign ships ply there. This is precisely where Russia may resort to provocation under the guise of imitating a drone or even missile attack. Russia may provoke an unusual situation with an attack on a foreign vessel and blame Ukraine for this," she said.
At the same time, Humeniuk noted that, apart from the occupied coast of Crimea, there was currently no other navigation in the Black Sea.
"Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the Russians have declared the northwestern part of the Black Sea — from Snake Island to Cape Tarkhankut — closed to navigation. And then all the ships that were there were forcibly driven into the ports and remained blocked there. After that, navigation was exclusively related to the grain initiative, only by ships agreed by the Istanbul Coordination Center, which were loaded with grain and could sail there to and from. There is no other navigation now," she noted.
As reported, on July 17, Russia announced its withdrawal from the Black Sea grain deal signed in Istanbul last July. After that, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation announced that it would consider ships going to Ukrainian ports as military targets.