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Black Sea battles (Opinion)

21st March 2022 - 18:00 GMT | by Harry Lye in London

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The Ukrainian Navy has scuttled its only frigate, Hetman Sahaidachny, to prevent its capture. (Photo: Ukrainian MoD)

While much of the Russian invasion of Ukraine has played out in the air and land domains, the naval aspect remains important. Attempted amphibious assaults, naval supply lines and ancient treaties regarding maritime movement have all been at the forefront of the conflict.

Since the start of their invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, Russian forces have reportedly struck commercial vessels in the Black Sea and conducted amphibious landings around the cities of Melitopol and Mariupol – the latter of which remained under Ukrainian control at the time of writing.

In the opening salvo of the conflict, Russia is thought to have launched around 30 Kalibr land-attack cruise missiles.

Access to the Black Sea itself has become a political flashpoint, with Kyiv pressuring Turkey to close the Bosphorus and Dardanelles to Russian warships.

On 27 February, Turkey used its powers under the Montreux

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