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.

Russia’s naval deployments in the Black and Azov Seas threaten to “block important trade routes in international waters,”

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.”