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Russian Navy Orders To Mine Black Sea Ports Of Ukraine - U.S. Intelligence

Russian Navy Orders To Mine Black Sea Ports Of Ukraine - U.S. Intelligence

intelligence, mines, mining, Ukrainian seaports, US intelligence, blocked seaports, U.S. intelligence, Black Sea ports

The Russian navy has been given orders to lay mines at the ports of Odesa and Ochakiv, and has already mined the Dnieper River, as part of a blockade of Ukrainian grain exports, according to newly declassified U.S. intelligence, The Guardian reported on Friday, June 24.

U.S. officials also released satellite images showing the damage inflicted by Russian missile strikes earlier this month on Ukraine’s second biggest grain terminal at nearby Mykolaiv.

Sunflower oil storage tanks at Mykolaiv came under attack on Wednesday.

Russia has denied laying mines around the Black Sea ports, and has turned around the allegations on Kyiv, claiming instead the Ukrainians have mined their own ports.

The U.S. says its intelligence points to a concerted Russian strategy to cut off the stretch of the coast still under Ukrainian control.

“The United States has information that the Black Sea fleet is under orders to effectively blockade the Ukrainian ports of Odesa and Ochakiv,” a U.S. official said.

“We can confirm that despite Russia’s public claims that it is not mining the north-western Black Sea, Russia actually is deploying mines in the Black Sea near Ochakiv. We also have indication that Russian forces previously mined the Dnieper River,” The Guardian reports.

The American official pointed out that Russia's actions led to the cessation of maritime trade in the northern third of the Black Sea and made the region unsafe for shipping.

As Ukrainian News Agency earlier reported, on March 28, the Turkish Ministry of Defense reported that it had discovered a mine in the Black Sea near the border with Bulgaria.

On March 22, the press service of the Directorate of Navigation Hydrography and Oceanography of the Turkish Navy reported that Russia had installed mines in the Ukrainian ports of the Black Sea, but they could disconnect from the mounts and drift all over the sea, threatening the ships.

On March 19, it became known that the Russian invaders mined the recommended routes from the Bosphorus to Odesa, saying that Ukraine allegedly did it.