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The Increasing Risks of Black Sea Shipping

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In the wake of the conflict in Ukraine, the Black Sea has become a hotbed of turmoil, endangering ships ferrying Ukrainian grain. 

The MV Helt's saga epitomizes the perils:

  • Coerced into a "human shield" by the Russian Black Sea Fleet, this vessel was left defenseless, manipulated to conceal Russian movements near Odessa.
  • A suspicious explosion sank the ship, its AIS system oddly functional even after the sinking, possibly to mask Russian navy movements, hinting at their strategy to prepare for an amphibious assault on Odessa.


Metis Insights: Black Sea Grain Initiative


In a parallel incident, the Banglar Samriddhi, stranded in Olvia port, faced a deadly Russian missile attack, claiming a crew member's life.

Cancelation of the Russia-Ukraine grain deal exacerbated tensions, rendering Black Sea passage treacherous for commercial vessels. Attacks on civilian ships persist, jeopardizing global supply chains and amplifying food shortages and price hikes worldwide.

Ukraine's successes on the maritime front are overshadowed by the looming threat to commercial traffic, rippling across continents with food insecurity and disruptions in Eastern European agriculture.

Source: AEI