From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Black Sea mapping
Mains level : Read the attached story
The sinking of the huge Russian warship Moskva whether due to a Ukrainian missile strike or, as Russia claims, a fire on board — is a serious setback for Russia in the Black Sea.
About Black Sea
- The famed water body is bound by Ukraine to the north and northwest, Russia and Georgia to the east, Turkey to the south, and Bulgaria and Romania to the west.
- It links to the Sea of Marmara through the Bosphorus and then to the Aegean through the Dardanelles.
Significance of Black Sea for Russia
- Domination of the Black Sea region is a geostrategic imperative for Moscow.
- Black Sea has traditionally been Russia’s warm water gateway to Europe.
- For Russia, the Black Sea is both a stepping stone to the Mediterranean.
- It acts as a strategic buffer between NATO and itself.
- It showcases the Russian power in the Mediterranean and to secure the economic gateway to key markets in southern Europe.
- The Rhine-Main-Danube canal connects the Black Sea to the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea and the port of Odessa serves as a vital link between Ukraine and the outside world.
Black Sea in the Ukraine war
- Russia has been making efforts to gain complete control over the Black Sea since the Crimean crisis of 2014.
- During the ongoing invasion, the domination of the Black Sea has been a major Russian objective, along with the land bridge to connect Russia and Crimea.
- As such, there have been intense efforts to capture Mariupol, the Sea of Azov port in the breakaway eastern Ukrainian oblast of Donetsk.
- Mariupol appeared close to falling to the Russians.
Sinking of the Moskva
- The sinking of the Moskva is believed to be the worst loss in the history of naval warfare.
- It was sunk by shore-based anti-ship cruise missiles which took advantage of bad weather and used decoy UAV attacks to defeat the ship’s air defence systems.
- It demonstrates the success of outside-the-box measures adopted by Ukraine in the war.
Must answer this PYQ in the comment box:
Q.Consider the following pairs:
Sea Bordering country 1. Adriatic Sea Albania 2. Black Sea Croatia 3. Caspian Sea Kazakhstan 4. Mediterranean Sea Morocco 5. Red Sea Syria
Which of the pair given above are correctly matched? (CSP 2020)
(a) 1, 2 and 4 only
(b) 1, 3 and 4 only
(c) 2 and 5 only
(d) 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5