Russia imposed a blockade on two Ukrainian Azov Sea ports - Berdyansk and Mariupol - on Thursday, November 29. Ukrainian vessels have been impeded from entering and exiting, with the exception of those traveling on to Russian ports. Disruptions are expected in the Azov Sea as vessels are unable to conduct normal operations, along with potential good shortages should the blockade persist. An escalation in tensions leading to military confrontation cannot be ruled out.
Tensions have been particularly high between Russia and Ukraine since Russian forces opened fire on three Ukrainian navy ships in the Black Sea near the Kerch Strait on November 25. The Russian navy then reportedly seized three ships, wounding several Ukrainian soldiers. Russian official sources have indicated that the Kerch Strait has now been reopened to civilian vessels after being closed November 25.
On November 28, martial law was implemented in eastern and central Ukraine in response to these recent events.
Individuals in the region are advised to monitor developments to the situation and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities. Due to the ongoing conflict, many Western governments advise against travel to the far east of Ukraine, including the cities of Donetsk, Horlivka, Makiyivka, and Luhansk.
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