New video shows Russian forces raiding a cargo ship in the Black Sea, shouting ‘stop machine’ as they stormed the bridge.

New video shows Russian forces raiding a cargo ship in the Black Sea, shouting 'stop machine' as they stormed the bridge.

Russian Forces Raid Ukraine-Bound Ship in the Black Sea

Russian forces raiding a Ukraine-bound cargo ship

The recent raid by Russian forces on a cargo ship bound for Ukraine in the Black Sea has raised concerns about the safety of shipping in the region. A video released by Russia’s defense ministry shows troops storming the vessel’s bridge and interrogating the crew in a helicopter raid.

The incident took place in response to Moscow’s threats last month that any ship sailing to a Ukrainian port could be targeted. Russia had previously killed a crucial Black Sea grain deal and intensified its militarization of the region. This raid appears to be the first time they have followed through on their threat.

Russia’s defense ministry stated that its patrol ship detected the Palau-flagged Sukru Okan as it was traveling to the southern Ukrainian port city of Izmail. The ship’s captain did not respond to a request to stop for inspection, prompting warning shots from the Russian patrol vessel. A boarding party was then deployed onto the cargo ship from a Russian Ka-29 attack helicopter.

The bodycam footage released by Russia’s defense ministry shows the raid in action. The video starts with the Russian helicopter circling the ship as crew members kneel on the open platform with their hands behind their heads. The boarding party then jumps onto the vessel and proceeds to the bridge.

During the raid, the Russian service members can be heard yelling at the crew to stop and sit down. One crewmember responds in English, to which a Russian service member demands them to speak English. The video also shows a Russian inspecting documents and ends with a member of the boarding party thanking the ship’s crew.

Russia’s defense ministry claimed that the inspection was conducted professionally and in line with international requirements. However, the Ukraine’s Centre for Strategic Communication denounced the raid, stating that it posed a physical danger to the crew and can be considered piracy. The ministry called for involvement from the international coalition’s fleet to address the situation.

In response to the incident, Ukraine’s foreign ministry condemned Russia’s actions and accused Moscow of endangering the freedom of navigation and safety of commercial shipping in the Black Sea. The tensions in the region have been high since Russia terminated the grain deal, leading to missile and drone strikes on Ukrainian cities, ports, and grain storage facilities in the area.

Amid these challenges, Ukraine has increasingly utilized sea drones to target significant Russian assets in the Black Sea. The recent raid by Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, however, raises the risk for commercial vessels passing through the region.

The United States also expressed concerns about Russia expanding its targeting to civilian ships. The State Department’s Principal Deputy Spokesperson, Vedant Patel, stated that they were closely monitoring the situation and worried about potential attacks on civilian ships in the Black Sea.

As tensions continue to escalate in the area, it is crucial to ensure the safety of shipping and find a resolution that protects the freedom of navigation in the Black Sea. The international community must work together to address these challenges and maintain stability in the region.