The Association has already reported that the Russian invaders are constantly committing new provocations against merchant shipping in the Black Sea area.

In particular, the aggressor reports fake “humanitarian corridors” from the seaports of Ukraine, allegedly “to withdraw merchant ships from them”. But at the same time, such “corridors” are claimed by invaders either from Ukrainian ports captured by Russian troops, such as Kherson, or from those, being under constant missile shelling from the Black Sea Fleet.

Also, in May 2022, the Russian occupiers significantly increased their own grouping on Black Sea’s Snake (Zmiiny) Island, with the location of air defense systems, drones and rocket artillery systems on it.

Our Association has informed authorized international structures such as the International Maritime Organization and the International Labor Organization about these actions of the invaders, which pose new risks for merchant shipping.

At the same time, the aggressor transferred to the Black Sea an artillery boat of the Ukrainian Naval Forces of the “Gyurza-M” type, captured by Russians in the port of Berdyansk, which was seen in May in the bays of Sevastopol and near the same Snake Island.

At the same time, to the south of the Snake Island, there is a constant accumulation of merchant ships heading in Romanian territorial waters to the Ukrainian ports on the Danube – Reni and Izmail.

There are reports of attempts by the Russian invaders to use the radio equipment of the “Gyurza-M” boat to spread fake “messages” on frequencies intended for the safety of navigation.

In the future, it is not ruled out that the Ukrainian assets, seized by the Russian invaders, including the above-pointed artillery boat, will be used for direct provocations against merchant ships of third countries in order to create an incident with victims or pollution of the marine environment, blaming Ukraine for this.

Also, the Russian occupiers can organize an attack by an allegedly “Ukrainian” boat on auxiliary naval or special ships of Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania or Turkey, or even the shelling from it coastal civilian objects of critical infrastructure in Bulgaria or Romania.