At least 100 cargo vessels are unable to leave from ports in the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the German Shipowners’ Association (popular as the VDR) reported Wednesday.
What is known till now?
A VDR spokesperson reported that several vessels that are trapped fly German flags but noted that a significant number of the crew members hailed from either Ukraine or Russia. The maritime industry is notoriously international with crews hailing from several countries on a particular vessel. She strived to urge Russia to spare the vessels in the conflict region from attack. The association informed that vessels were unable to cast off due to the unavailability of tugs. Besides, the VDR further warned that waters in the region could be mined, yet another cause of concern for crews.
Multiple vessels are damaged due to Russian attacks in the region
Some vessels that are not involved in the Russia-Ukraine war have been caught in the ongoing crossfire. Last week, a ship from Japan called the Namura Queen was also prey to a Russian missile in the Black Sea. Nikko Kisen K.K., the vessel’s owner said that it was impaired and the attack had also injured a Filipino crew member who was on board.
Last week, the Millennial Spirit, a Moldovan-flagged vessel, was attacked by a naval vessel belonging to Russia. Moldova’s naval agency reported that two Russian crew members on board the ship were “severely injured” due to the unforeseen attack.
Yasa Jupiter, a Turkish carrier was bombed close to the Odesa, Ukraine’s port city. However, Turkey’s Maritime General Directorate declared that there were zero casualties.
Russia was involved in a Black Sea naval buildup before the invasion. Commercial vessels in the region could be exposed, as NATO was criticized for not boosting its presence to fight against Russia.
In the meantime, Turkey, a NATO member has gone an extra mile to take measures to deny Russian warships from accessing its straits to the Black Sea, per the Montreux Convention.
Per the VDR, just a little less than 200,000 Russian nationals work on vessels worldwide, along with about 76,000 Ukrainians. The two nationalities comprise 14.5% of the 1.89 million seafarer count globally.