The Black Sea has once again become the backdrop for escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine, as a recent drone strike by Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) targeted a Russian oil tanker in the Kerch Strait. The drone attack carried out jointly with the Ukrainian Navy, comes as the latest in a series of incidents that have heightened hostilities between the two nations. This article delves into the events leading up to this week’s strike, explores the impact of the ongoing conflict on regional security and trade, and sheds light on the significance of sea drones in Ukraine’s defense strategy.
A Brief History of Tensions in the Black Sea
The Black Sea region has been a hotbed of geopolitical tensions, with Russia and Ukraine asserting their claims over territorial waters and maritime routes. In April 2022, Ukraine claimed responsibility for downing Russia’s flagship guided-missile cruiser Moskva, using anti-ship cruise missiles. This incident occurred shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began, further fueling hostilities between the two countries.
Ukraine’s Navy and main internal security service, the SBU, used sea drones early Friday to attack a Russian naval base near the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk, a Ukrainian government official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter.… pic.twitter.com/8IhbmVrb64
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) August 4, 2023