Ukraine’s recent announcement that they had a ‘Secret Plan’ to functionally retake the Sea of Azov which Russia now has de facto control of, is confronted by a very different picture on the water. Looking at the real facts and projections, there is really no chance for Ukraine to reassert control over the strategic body of water.
Even critical American media is in the position of having to face the facts. The Sea of Azov was used during the height of the conflict in the Donbass, by the Ukrainians, to use small boats and light water craft to attack Russian positions and to terrorize populations in support of the separatists, near the coastal area.
Today, Russia has a policy of essentially controlling this body of water. It sits between the Crimean and the line separating the Ukrainian held city of Mariupol, and the pro-Russian held areas of southern Donetsk. The naval superiority of Russia compared to the semi-failed state of Ukraine is undoubted. The primary questions revolve around the extent to which NATO can mobilize a fleet within the Black Sea. Presently, there is a standing agreement in place which significantly limits the number of NATO vessels which can be in the Black Sea at any given time. The economically distorted U.S military industrial complex makes large projects, such as expanding the navy or making naval assets available and affordable to NATO allies such as Romania and Bulgaria, nearly impossible.
Indeed, the Russian fleet can almost instantly smash Ukrainian ships and the Navy base in the Sea of Azov, according to an article of the American magazine The American Conservative .
According to the author of the piece, Ukraine, with US support, wants to build a naval base on the Azov Sea in order to “create conditions for repelling Russia’s aggressive actions in this region.”
“Kiev sent several patrol boats in the Sea of Azov, and in the coming months there will be transferred a few more. The Russian fleet can sink these boats and destroy this base in a matter of minutes, ” the journalist writes.
At the same time, he asks whether it is worth sending an American fleet to help Kiev, especially since the Black Sea has always been Russian “historically”.
In March 2018, the situation in the Sea of Azov exacerbated due to the seizure of the Crimean ship “Nord” by Ukrainian border guards. On its board there were 10 crew members. Two sailors were able to return home, the rest do not leave the territory of Ukraine.
Against the backdrop of the detention of the “Nord” Russian border guards began to inspect the vessels going to the Ukrainian ports. According to the Ukrainian border service, in recent months, Russia has detained more than 150 ships for inspection in the Sea of Azov. At the same time, in the Crimean border patrol, the FSB stressed that the inspections are conducted in accordance with international maritime law.
In mid-September , the Ukrainian authorities announced their plans to create a naval base of Ukraine in the Sea of Azov by the end of 2018. By now, according to media reports, two artillery armored pits have already been launched .