Ukraine’s Defense Minister Andriy Taran warned the European Parliament’s subcommittee on Security and Defense on Wednesday. The bulk of Ukraine’s $103 billion in foreign trade last year moved by ship. Taran has predicted: “The total number of Russian troops concentrated along the Ukrainian borders in this direction will reach 56 battalion tactical groups with 110 thousand troops.”
starting from Saturday April 24 through October. Commercial shipping is allowed passage. The Ukrainian Navy reported on Facebook: “Tonight, in the Azov Sea, Russian Federal Security Service boats attempted to obstruct the legal actions of the Navy of Ukraine boat group.” That confrontation did not end in a clash.
. On the Azov, the Mariupol port often ranks as Ukraine’s fifth busiest port, largely due to exports from Metinvest’s large scale Ilyich Iron and Steel Works. “This step is a gross violation of the right to freedom of navigation,” Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry protested yesterday. “The Russian Federation should not impede or interfere with transit passage through the international strait to ports in the Sea of Azov.”
, calculated the Jamestown Foundation’s Eurasia Daily Monitor. Bolstering the Black Sea fleet, four large ships from the Baltic Fleet are making their way to the Black Sea. In addition, 15 smaller vessels from Russia’s Caspian Flotilla are making their way through the 100 km Volga-Don Canal. The ships from the Baltic and Caspian are equipped for marine landings.
“Russian escalation in Ukraine yet to faze commodity markets.” “Russia could close off Ukrainian ports due to its control of Crimea and Black Sea chokepoints,” the authors warn. “Any limitation of vessels through the Kerch Strait would likely affect supply routes used by Metinvest, the Ukrainian mining and steel group, and other bulk shipping on the route.”
“This is not good news for Russia. The result of these actions will inevitably be that fewer foreign investors will want to buy Russian debt which means higher borrowing costs, less investment and growth and a further tightening of the economic constraints around Putin. The US is signaling that there are lots more things it can still do on the sanctions front unless Russia changes its behavior.”
” reported Al Jazeera. Noting that it was President Zelenskiy’s second visit in six months to Turkey, the report said: “Ankara views Ukraine as a crucial buffer against Russia and has been a strong advocate for its acceptance into the NATO alliance.” Highlighting the wide spectrum of defense industry cooperation, the articles noted: “Turkey is working with Ukrainian companies to develop diesel engines for its fifth-generation fighter jet and main battle tank.”
“has also pushed Ukrainian sovereign bonds to their lowest level since November,” Reuters reported last night. Adamant Capital elaborated: “The price of Ukraine’s 11-year benchmark Eurobond (2032) has tumbled over the past week (by roughly 370 bps) signaling investor concerns over the possibility of a military escalation.” From the other side, the Russian ruble dropped yesterday to 77 to the dollar, its lowest level since November.
“We lean towards Moscow’s actions being more of a show of force rather than a real preparation for a confrontation…Crossing over [into the Donbas] once more, especially with the world closely watching, would completely destroy Putin’s narrative of the conflict being Ukraine’s internal affair.”
according to a poll conducted last week by the Rating Sociological group. The survey of 2,500 people was conducted before Russian TV aired video of dozens of Russian armored vehicles and self-propelled guns crossing the Kerch Strait bridge. In the poll, 45% of respondents supported restoring water supplies to Crimea and 48% did not support it.