Russia’s Military Actions in the Azov Violate the Rules of International Relations

November 26, 2018


The fact that Russia ventured to capture Ukrainian ships suggests that Ukraine lacks forces in the Sea of Azov. Russia always seems to target the weak spots, and we cannot match our naval forces with the Russian fleet already in the Azov. The only thing we can do is to strengthen coastal defence, mine the coastline and use helicopters and warplanes, but we also have no advantage in this regard. Russia maintains full-scale economic blockade of Ukraine in the Sea of Azov, which defies all rules of international relations enunciated in treaty documents, such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the bilateral agreement between the Russian Federation and Ukraine on cooperation in the use of the Sea of Azov, which is violated by Russia in every possible way. Therefore, the international community’s response is clear, with no statements or comments approving Russia and its actions in the Azov. Support for Ukraine, however, is only verbal, with the exception of the United States handing over two Sea Guard boats and promising to provide a frigate. Even though it is a decommissioned ship, Ukraine is not in position to be too picky. We have to use it, to build our navy and to wait until “Ukroboronprom” reaches capacity to fully meet the demand of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Mykola Sunhurovskyi

Director, Military Programmes

Born in 1951 in Moscow.


Orenburg Higher Military Air Defence Forces School (1972);

Kyiv Air Defence Forces Academy (1982);

Higher School of Entrepreneurship, Kyiv Institute of National Economy (1991).

Ph. D. in Technical Sciences, Senior Research Fellow, the author of more than 90 publications.

Colonel (Ret.) with 31 years of military service, half of that term — at research institutions. Research profile — systems analysis, strategic planning, analysis methods, national security.


Most recent position in state bodies — Department Chief at the Analytical Service of Ukraine's NSDC Staff;

Since December 1999 — Razumkov Centre Programme Co-ordinator;

Since February 2000 — Freelance Consultant to the National Security and Defence Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

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