Russia

Ukraine: What is Russia's next maritime move?

A maritime expert told Forces News the question now is "will Russia move towards Odesa?"

Russia's blockade of the Black Sea has become a global problem after causing food shortages around the world.

Basil Germond, an expert in maritime security, has told Forces News "Ukraine is not able to compete with the Russian Navy at sea", with the resulting blockade impacting both Ukraine's economy and a worldwide food crisis.

But what options do Ukraine and the West have and what could be Russia's next maritime move?

"Mariupol has fallen, so Russia controls the sea of Azov and now the question is 'is Russia going to move towards Odesa?'" Mr Germond said.

"The assault warships of the Russian Navy are not safe when they venture in the vicinity of the Ukraine coast because of the Ukrainian missiles."

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What maritime options do Ukraine and the West have?

Mr Germond said Putin is using the blockade as a "blackmailing tool to try and undermine Western sanctions".

But he added that when states such as the UK cannot "do something without risking escalation then the private sector can step in".

He added that the West should consider "providing food assistance to the global south, if necessary".

"That would send a strong message to Russia, the blockade doesn't work, we have other solutions, we can help those which need help.

"That could be a non-naval way out of the blockade in the shorter term."

Cover Image: Russia's warship Movska, the flagship of the Black Sea fleet, was sunk by two Ukrainian missiles in April (Picture: Pictorial Press Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo).