Russian Nazis use civilian ships to transport their military equipment from Syria to the ports of the Russian Federation and the occupied Crimea to support offensive actions against Ukraine. This is contrary to the spirit of the Montreux Convention, because the civilian fleet is used for military operations.
After the start of a large-scale invasion of the Russian Federation into Ukraine, on February 28 this year, the Turkish authorities imposed a ban on the passage of warships of all countries through the Black Sea straits. This step of Turkey was in the hands of Ukraine – the Russians were unable to introduce new forces into the Black Sea.
After the unsuccessful offensive of the first month of the war, when Russian troops were defeated by our Defense Forces, the invaders remembered their Syrian group, trying to transfer it to the Ukrainian theater of operations. Previously, large landing ships (BDK) were used for this purpose, but the Turkish ban on passage through the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles forced them to look for new ways.
One of the subsidiaries of the Russian Ministry of Defense, LLC Oboronlogistics, has attracted several conditionally civilian vessels for such charter operations – Pizhma, Sparta, Sparta II, Ursa Major and Sparta IV. They regularly transported military cargo and personnel of Russian units from Novorossiysk to Syrian Tartus and back, and also allegedly from Tartus to the ports of the occupied Crimea.
For example, on the night of April 17, the Sparta II dry cargo ship under the flag of the Russian Federation (IMO 9160994) proceeded along the Bosphorus from Tartus to Novorossiysk. Presumably, equipment was transported on board for a future offensive operation in the Donbass.
Also, to supply the Syrian aviation group through the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, several small tankers under the Russian flag – “Sig” (IMO 9735335) and “Yaz” (IMO 9735323) go. It is interesting that a few days ago, on May 17, when crossing from Tartus to Novorossiysk, in the waters of the Mediterranean, these two ships were escorted by the missile frigate Admiral Grigorovich. Escort as a security measure was introduced by rashists after sanctions imposed by the European Union on all tankers sailing under the tricolor.
Bulk carriers under the Russian and Syrian flags also transport through the Turkish straits wheat, barley and corn stolen from elevators in the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions of Ukraine. Vessels Mikhail Nenashev, Matros Pozynich, Laodicea, Souria and Finikia were seen in these missions. By the way, Turkish companies often become buyers of these stolen products.
In general, Russia deceived Turkey by finding a way to get around the ban on the movement of its ships through the Black Sea straits. So far, the mistress of the straits turns a blind eye to the deceit, but most likely will not endure it for long, because the Russian Federation uses civilian bulk carriers to rotate and transport military equipment and continue the military campaign in Ukraine.
The Turkish authorities should consider these bulk carriers as auxiliary vessels of the Russian navy, tighten their screening and prohibit passage through the straits on a par with warships.
Author — Alexey Sukhoi, photo Yörük Işık