The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has said on Thursday that Vladimir Putin could release sea mines in the Black Sea to deliberately target civilian ships.
The UK Armed Forces Minister James Heappey has praised Ukraine for the “functional defeat” of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol, Cimea.
Intelligence shows that Russian attacks have to date destroyed enough grain that could have fed more than one million people for an entire year.
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The UK’s latest intelligence assessment warns that Russia is “seeking to target civilian shipping travelling through Ukraine‘s ‘humanitarian corridor’ in order to deter the export of Ukrainian grain,” this includes releasing sea mines in the approach to Ukrainian ports.
The FCDO said in a statement, “Russia almost certainly wants to avoid openly sinking civilian ships, instead falsely laying blame on Ukraine for any attacks against civilian vessels in the Black Sea.
“By releasing our assessment of this intelligence, the UK seeks to expose Russia‘s tactics to deter any such incident from occurring.
Minister for the Armed Forces @JSHeappey addressed the Warsaw Security Forum today focussing on the successes that the Ukrainian armed forces continue to achieve on land and at sea.@WarsawForum #WSF2023 pic.twitter.com/wE4sjibX4B
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) October 3, 2023
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said on Thursday, “Russia’s pernicious targeting of civilian shipping” in the Black Sea demonstrated Vladimir Putin’s “total disregard for civilian lives and the needs of the world’s most vulnerable.
“The world is watching – and we see right through Russia‘s cynical attempts to lay blame on Ukraine for their attacks.”
The latest analysis from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) suggests that Russia have been forced to move from their Naval base in Sevastopol following recent attacks.
Several Russian vessels have been moved to the port in Novorossiysk in a “likely in an effort to protect them from continued Ukrainian strikes on Russian assets in occupied Crimea.”
Satellite imagery published on 1 to 3 October shows that at least 10 Russian vessels left Sevastopol for the port of Novorossiysk.
The ISW said, “Russian forces may be temporarily moving some vessels to Novorossiysk following multiple strikes on Black Sea Fleet (BSW) assets in and near Sevastopol but will likely continue to use Sevastopol’s port, which remains the BSF’s base.”