A trio of civilian cargo ships—one each from Israel and Greece plus one with Turkish-Georgian registration—ran the Russian blockade in the Black Sea on Sunday and anchored at one of Ukraine’s grain ports on the Danube Delta.
Twenty-two days after Moscow canceled a deal with Kyiv—which had allowed Ukraine safely to export tens of millions of tons of grain—and then threatened to halt maritime traffic to Ukrainian ports, the world has called the Russians’ bluff.
“Reports of three civilian ships sailing to Ukraine unhindered may suggest that Russia is either unwilling or unable to enforce such searches at this time,” the Institute for the Study of War in Washington, D.C. noted.
A flock of NATO aircraft carefully monitored the ships as they sailed toward Izmail, a small Ukrainian port just across from Romania on the Danube River. The vessels presumably will load grain in Izmail then sail back into the Black Sea and onward to foreign ports. [Continue reading…]