“Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has altered its posture since Russia pulled out of the Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI), in preparedness to enforce a blockade on Ukraine,” the UK’s Ministry of Defence posted on Twitter.
According to British intelligence data, the modern corvette SERGEY KOTOV, has deployed to the southern Black Sea, patrolling the shipping lane between the Bosphorus and Odesa.
The Ministry notes there is a realistic possibility that it will form part of a task group to intercept commercial vessels Russia believes are heading to Ukraine.
As noted, the Black Sea Grain Initiative has moderated the involvement of the Black Sea in the war. “There is now the potential for the intensity and scope of violence in the area to increase,” the UK’s Ministry of Defence says.
As reported, Natalia Humeniuk, head of the joint press center of the Operational Command "South", said that Russia might resort to provocations and strike civilian ships from the occupied Crimea and then blame Ukraine for this.
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.