Mines placed by Ukraine’s Navy at the approaches to the Black Sea ports may drift toward Bosporus and the Mediterranean Sea due to cable breaks, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said in a press statement on Saturday.
Following the beginning of Russia’s special military operation, Ukraine’s Navy placed mine belts at the approaches to the ports of Odessa, Ochakov, Chernomorsk, and Yuzhny (around 420 obsolete types of anchor mines) and anchor river mines manufactured in the first half of the 20th century. Storms begin to break mine anchor cables connecting the mines for the anchors. “Driven by winds and currents, mines are freely drifting in the western part of the Black Sea,” it said.
“Bearing in mind the fact that southwards surface currents are typical in the areas of these Ukrainian ports, it is not ruled out that loose mines may drift toward Bosporus and further on to the Mediterranean Sea,” it stressed.
The Russian Black Sea Fleet issued a mine hazard warning on March 18.
Ukraine’s armed forces “once again demonstrate utter ignorance of the fundamental international laws and disregard for human lives, including of European Union nationals,” the FSB stressed.
The international Convention relative to the laying of automatic submarine mines (Hague VIII) prohibits to place automatic anchor mines, which are not rendered harmless once they break their moorings.