Russian naval forces have blockaded Ukraine’s Black Sea coast, say UK officials

Russian forces are also in the Sea of Azov, say officials

Furvah Shah
Monday 14 March 2022 13:30
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Video footage showing an alleged Russian attack near Odessa

Russia has blockaded Ukraine’s Black Sea coast isolating the country from maritime trade and travel, the British Ministry of Defence has said.

Russian forces have also landed in the nearby Sea of Azov and could make further movements within the coming week, the statement added.

“Russian naval forces have established a distant blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea coast, effectively isolating Ukraine from international maritime trade,” the MoD said.

As well as being of strategic concern, the Black Sea is an important trade and travel route for Russia.

Ukrainian national security adviser, Oleksiy Danilov, said in an earlier televised speech that Russian paratroopers were preparing to enter Odesa, a port city on the Black Sea in southern Ukraine.

However, he said they would be met with fierce resistance by Ukrainian forces.

“They are awaited there, and they will have no smooth sailing,” he said, according to Ukrinform.

He also claimed an assault on the city was planned for last week by Russian forces but was postponed due to bad weather.

This map shows the extent of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Video footage shared by Ukraine showed an alleged attack attempt by a Russian warship on a small island near Odessa on the first day of war, which was then destroyed by Ukrainian forces.

The video showed rocks being fired into the night sky before an orange glow appears, suggesting a destroyed vessel.

Then, Ukrainian soldiers can cheering and saying “we f******* hit them” and one repeated words heard by captured soldiers on Snake Island, saying: “Russian warship, go f*** yourself.”

Video appears to show Ukraine marines hitting Russian ship in Odessa region

The city of Odessa has not yet been attacked by Russian forces but residents have fortified the location and set up shelters and emergency services in preparation for a potential invasion.

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here. To sign the petition click here. If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.

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