@PaulR_Gregory : Putin’s millionaire buddy got the contract to build the Kerch bridge*; Russia is blocking the water with a huge cargo ship anchored directly under the bridge – but the bridge is so badly built that it’s already sinking.
Photo: Wikipedia map of the Sea of Azov. Note the word Kerch at the southern isthmus.
Permissions: Public domain.
Paul Gregory (@PaulR_Gregory), Hoover Institution, covers the vid posted by the FSB of three captured sailors from an Ukrainskii naval vessel saying that this was a casus belli we generated at the direction of Kiyev. One is reading from a script; the men seemed to be under physical and emotional pressure to say this. We know from radio intercept that this action was directed by Medvedev and Putin, himself. The bigger picture is that Putin has decided he can bolster his sagging public opinion numbers by giving a gift to the Russian people: “The Sea of Azov is now ours!”
Putin was trying to goad Poroshenko to cancel upcoming elections – a disaster, so he’s simply created martial law. What we see is that Russia can ride roughshod over Ukraine and he international order, which puts Trump in an awkward place at the upcoming G20. Take the Sea of Azov, expand to control the Black Sea – from Bulgaria and Rumania to Turkey and Georgia; were he to gain control of the Black Sea, that’d be more advantageous than marching into Kiyev. Putin’s millionaire buddy got the contract to build the Kerch bridge*; Russia is blocking the water with a huge cargo ship anchored directly under the bridge – but the bridge is so badly built that it’s already sinking. * The new bridge that straddles the Kerch Strait between Crimea and southern Russia.