Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) issued a formal maritime warning on Saturday about a dangerous situation that is developing in the Black Sea. In response to Russia’s offensive, Ukraine had placed anchor mines along its coastline, but a number have since detached from their cables and are adrift at sea, it said.
“The Armed Forces of Ukraine have once again demonstrated a complete disregard for international law and for human lives, including those of citizens of the European Union,” the FSB said in a statement.
According to the agency, after Russia launched a large-scale military operation against the country in late February, the Ukrainian Navy created a minefield outside each of the Black Sea ports of Odessa, Ochakov, Chernomorsk, and Yuzhny. The FSB claims the mines deployed are for naval or river use and were produced by the Soviet Union in the first part of the 20th century.
“With the onset of stormy conditions, the cables connecting the mines with their bottom anchors began to break. The mines are now drifting freely in the western part of the Black Sea,” it said.
The situation is likely to get even more hazardous, given the southward trajectory of the surface currents in the area, the FSB has warned. “It is not possible to rule out that the detached mines will drift into the Bosphorus and further into the Mediterranean Sea,” it added.