A game of nerves. Why did Putin officially allow the military to block the Kerch Strait?
Vladimir Putin has officially allowed the Russian military to “block the territories and waters of protected sites to stop attempts to illegally penetrate the Kerch Strait.” The decree of the President of the Russian Federation states that the Rosguard may hold encirclement for attempts to “illegally cross and penetrate” into the water area and for attempts to leave it.
In fact, this behavior of Russians has been going on for a long time. But now Putin has given a legal clue to further international courts that he has violated. That is, we have previously recorded violations of international law by Russia, in Ukrainian waters in particular. But now there is another Kremlin document that the Russians are violating.
Now Putin has given a legal clue to further international courts
In general, this Putin decree is a reaction to what is happening in the Black Sea, the large-scale Sea Breeze exercises. Putin is accustomed to his “global plans” to restore Putin’s Soviet Union and divide peace among powerful nuclear powers being implemented according to his scenario. It increases strength – the world goes the other way. But then he was told that this would not continue.
Recently, especially on the maritime issue, NATO countries, Ukraine’s allies, have shown their strength. Objectively, the Black Sea Fleet is weaker than the NATO force. There is a strong Turkish fleet in the Black Sea, plus Romanians, Bulgarians, we … And it’s not just about the fleet – plus some aircraft, missile systems. Apart from taking Russia’s nuclear weapons, which Russia is constantly trying to threaten, Putin lacks forces in the Black Sea region. Yes, FSB ships tried to stop the British destroyer Defender, but they did not even catch up with it in speed. Not to mention the weapons.
Yes, the Russians in the Crimea have more aircraft, which they also constantly demonstrate, including in the situation with the British. But if we take NATO forces as a whole, if we talk about missile weapons “ship-to-ship”, “ship-to-shore”, “tomahawks”, then they are stronger than the armed forces of the Russian Federation.
In fairness, I would like to note that Russia has more conventional weapons and troops in Europe than NATO members. And in order to equalize them, in order to have a greater potential of conventional weapons, the conditional event should address the issue of arms transfers from the United States to our continent. By the way, the last exercises held in Europe were dedicated to this. They were aimed at two circumstances.
Putin’s decree is a reaction to what is happening in the Black Sea, large-scale Sea Breeze exercises
The first task of these exercises was to support one of the countries under the fifth article of the Alliance’s statute, which was attacked by the aggressor country. The following tasks were completed. By the way, Ukraine took part in these exercises. We can say that we were shown that, if anything, we will help you like this.
The second task of the exercises was to transfer troops and weapons from the continent of America and promote them in Europe. Because it is one thing for the Russians to let their troops pass by rail cars and air transport by Russia, even from the Far East to the west. And it is quite another to let NATO forces cross many countries, borders and everything else. It will be slower. Therefore, during the exercises in Europe, these issues were worked out.
By the way, the Russian Federation understands what this is all about now … Besides, before the meeting between the Presidents of the United States and the Russian Federation, Joe Biden did not bring two ships into the Black Sea. And now there is a demonstration that instead of two there can be 32 international vessels. All Russians will not have enough strength. Putin is angry and nervous. I think it takes away his health … And that’s why the Kremlin and Russia must show and show strength. Otherwise, they are impudent and take the next steps.
Returning to Putin’s decree to block the Kerch Strait, essentially nothing will change globally in the region. Because this does not mean that the Russians will close everything at once. They get on their nerves without it – they stop, “exercise control” … But now we will have an additional official argument in international courts. You will have to pay the bills. And whether Putin or someone after him will do it is a matter of time.
Igor Romanenko, military expert, former Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine