Russia’s naval exercises cover 27% of the Black Sea,

according an Axios story that cites “an internal document from Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense.” “Russia has been holding last-minute military exercises near commercial shipping lanes in the Black Sea that threaten to strangle Ukraine’s economy,” starts the story reported from Washington. Projecting Russia’s intelligence gathering into the Black Sea, Russia has installed radars on natural gas platforms that it seized from Ukraine’s Chernomorneftegaz in 2014, Axios says.

On the pretext of naval maneuvers, Russia is closing major swaths of the Black Sea and several approaches R

. 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.”