The Ukrainian army said Monday that it had pushed the Russian fleet back more than a hundred kilometers from Ukraine’s Black Sea coast, where Moscow’s ships have been carrying out a naval blockade for weeks.
“As a result of our active actions aimed at defeating enemy naval forces, the group of ships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet was pushed back from the Ukrainian shores at a distance of more than a hundred kilometers (62 miles),” Ukraine’s defense ministry said on Telegram.
According to the ministry, the Russian forces had to deploy coastal defense missile systems in Crimea and in Ukraine’s southern Kherson region which is now occupied by them.
They also sent additional forces to Snake Island, a small territory in the Black Sea captured by Russian forces on the first day of the invasion.
“We have deprived the Russian fleet of total control over the northwestern part of the Black Sea, which has become a ‘grey zone,'” the ministry said, adding that Moscow was currently trying to regain control there.
But according to Kyiv, “the threat of Russian missile strikes from the sea remains.”
Russian ships also continue “to block civil navigation” in this area, according to the same source.
The naval blockade of Ukrainian ports raises fears of a global food crisis, while grain exports from Ukraine are blocked and world prices soar.
While Russia has an obvious naval superiority, Ukrainian forces have claimed they managed to sink several Russian ships since the beginning of the invasion, including the cruiser Moskva, the flagship of Moscow’s Black Sea fleet.