Operation Sea Breeze 2019 - Ukraine

ODESA, Ukraine (July 8, 2019) Sailors from the Romanian navy participate in exercise Sea Breeze 2019 in Odesa, Ukraine, July 8, 2019. Sea Breeze is a U.S. and Ukraine co-hosted multinational maritime exercise held in the Black Sea and is designed to enhance interoperability of participating nations and strengthen maritime security and peace within the region. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of the Romanian navy)

Could Ukraine Recruit Privateers?

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February 27, 2022

In yestertday’s episode of What’s Going on With Shipping, Dr Sal Mercogliano – former merchant mariner and maritime historian – discusses the situation on Day 3 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in particular the naval operations taking place in the Black Sea and location of the larger Russian fleet in the Mediterranean.

In this video Mercogliano recaps the fate of three commercial vessels attacked in the Black Sea and the situation with merchant shipping in the area.

He discusses a potential naval strategy for Ukraine to adopt to counter the Russian invasion, the issuing of Letters of Marques and Reprisals to attack and capture vessels of the Russian Federation on the high seas. With new sanctions against some Russian ships, France has arrested one such vessel, but Letters of Marque could expose the entire Russian tanker, cargo, offshore and fishing fleet to capture. Sal explores if this could force Russia to either provide escorts or send their ships into port or national waters, imposing an additional economic burden on them. Could it cripple Russia’s ability to sealift gasoline and supplies into the Black Sea? Could the Ukraine ship registry issue a Letter of Marque to Ukrainian officers currently working aboard Russian ships?


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