Ukraine, Crimea, Kerch Strait discussed on The Lawfare Podcast


This is the long-term objective is to continue to block that passageway with potentially forcing commercial vessels to pay a passage fees to get through Kurt straight to get to those critical ports. So basically asserting sovereignty over these waterways again in violation of multiple international agreements. So to understand what you just said, the listener hasta visualize, I think the geography here, which is you got the large black siege of south, and then separating the Black Sea from Ukraine is the Crimean peninsula, which of course, is Ukrainian sovereign territory. But annexed by Russia in the earlier iteration two thousand fourteen and then there's this little. Double of see the as obscene between the Crimean peninsula and kind of Ukraine Russia to the north that is Ukraine set of ports right to southern ports. Correct. If they don't have the the Crimean peninsula itself which borders went we, you know, which abuts the Black Sea itself. Right. I think it's critical to understand about this. And you know, everybody that still confused by geography should go Google maps and have a look at the mapping, and that's incredibly helpful to get a better idea of why this area, so prone to potential accidents and conflicts, and why skirmish like this was almost inevitable when Russia decor Crimea. Russia didn't actually have a land pass to get supplies to individuals that they now consider Russian citizens in. So what the Russians did in may was to great fanfare build this bridge over the Kerch strait that. Little connector that you're talking about bed that canal connects mainland Russia to the Crimean peninsula. Allowing Russians into push through shipments, various goods and services soldiers equipment as well. Obviously all the way to Crimea there. Still having problems supplying Crimea with other basic services like electrically which still has to go through a mainland, Ukraine. If you wanna call it that and but ever since they built this bridge, the conflict has been escalating because they also built the bridge in such a way that already precluded some very large commercial vessels from being able to pass under it, which men that already started to hurt Ukrainian ports as you mentioned. Ben the Ukrainians now have to critical ports that connect to the block CV of the of solve and via the Kerch strait. Those two ports have also been under attack or tempted attack. By Russia back in twenty fourteen when they were attempting to basically get to Crimea through the land territory of Ukraine before they build that bridge. So this gets pretty complicated pretty fast. I think the the big question of what is motivating Russia to do. This now has everything to do with one. They wanted them wanted to consolidate their claim on Crimea and the waterways surrounding Crimea and to wanting to really squeeze strangle those key Ukrainian ports putting a lot more pressure on the Ukrainian economy in a way that they weren't able to buy land in back in twenty fourteen. So it's reasonable to understand this as a as an extension of the two thousand fourteen conflict over Crimea is that fair. Absolutely. It's an expansion extension of the conflict by the Russian side. Okay. Meanwhile. While there's this other Russia, Ukraine conflict over the eastern Ukrainian done boss region. Which is you know, if you're if you're rushing oriented has a ethnic Russian population that wants autonomy slash independence. If you're Ukrainian has been occupied by Russian forces. The truth is clearly closer to the Ukrainian side there to what extent is that one conflict and with the same conflict as the Crimea conflict, and to what extent that an independent set of issues. And how does it relate to what's going on Navaly? Now. That's a great question. All of this is connected. So I get if we whip out our Google maps, which are critical as having this conversation. And if we look at Ukraine's east there are now these contested. Territories that Ukraine says it was a Russian backed force Russian invasion of its eastern territory..

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