Written by Carolyn Olortegui and Alex Caron
Russia took control of 3 Ukrainian ships off the coast of Russian-annexed Crimea, opened fire and injured several sailors. Stated they entered territorial waters and acted in a threatening way. Russian-controlled crimea means they have control over shipping flows. On Sunday Russia stopped the three ships from entering Sea of Azov. They backed this blockade with two war planes and combat helicopters.
Players: Russia, Ukraine
Strategies: Brinkmanship because Russia not only held a blockade but they reinforced it with war planes and helicopters, leading the Ukrainian vessels with little options. They then stated Ukrainian ships were acting in a menacing manner and therefore boarded the ships and subsequently hurt three men. This escalation then also leads to tensions in the treaty that gives both nations access to the Sea of Azov.
Payoffs: The Russians are stating that the lack of information surrounding the ships from Ukraine was what led to the seizure, however, Kiev declines not informing them. Russia states this may be a way for the president to increase his popularity. This confusion surrounding what occurred may very well be a popularity stunt by Ukrainian president, but it may also be Russians exerting their power.