Atlantic Stormwind in the Black Sea

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The large aeronaval maneuver Sea Breeze, officially “co-hosted by the United States and Ukraine” in the Black Sea, began yesterday. The United States planned and command it, it is, therefore, the host in this sea close to Russian territory.  Sea Breeze takes place from June 28 to July 10. It is led by US Naval Forces Europe-Africa / Sixth Fleet with headquarters in Naples. It includes naval, submarine, amphibious, land, and air warfare exercises.

Since this series of annual maneuvers in the Black Sea began in 1997, the 2021 edition sees the largest number of participants: 32 countries from six continents with 5,000 soldiers, 18 special forces teams, 32 ships, and 40 war airplanes. Not only NATO member countries – Italy, Great Britain, France, Spain, Greece, Norway, Denmark, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, the three Baltic republics, Turkey and Canada – participate in it, but partner countries like Georgia, Moldova, Sweden, Israel, and above all Ukraine. Other nations sent their military forces to the Black Sea: Australia, Japan, South Korea and Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Senegal, and Brazil. The fact that military forces are deployed in the Black Sea, even from Australia and Brazil for this great maneuver under US command directed against Russia, is in line with what Joe Biden promised: “As president I will immediately take steps to renew the alliances of the United States, and make America, once again, lead the world”. The war maneuver in the Black Sea, the largest to date, demonstrates that President Biden’s steps go in the direction of a growing escalation against Russia and at the same time against China.

Sea Breeze 2021 actually began on June 23, when the British warship HMS Defender sailing from Ukraine to Georgia entered Crimea’s territorial waters. A deliberate provocative act claimed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who declared that Great Britain can again send its warships to those waters since it does not recognize the “annexation of Ukrainian Crimea by Russia“. This hostile action, certainly concerted with the United States, was implemented just a week after the Biden-Putin Summit, defined by the US president “good, positive“; a week after Russian President Putin warned in the press conference in Geneva: “We conduct military exercises within our territory, we do not bring our equipment and personnel close to the borders of the United States of America, as the US and its partners are doing now near our borders”.  This hostile action was implemented by Great Britain just two weeks after the signing of the New Atlantic Charter with the United States, in which their Allies are assured that they will always be able to rely on “our nuclear deterrents” and that “NATO will remain a nuclear alliance”.

The deliberate violation of Crimean territorial waters made the war maneuver in the Black Sea even more dangerous. This act, if repeated, may have the aim of provoking a Russian military response possibly with some dead or wounded, to accuse Moscow of aggression. It is not a coincidence that some architects of the   Maidan Square putsch in 2014 hold important posts in the Biden administration, such as the current Undersecretary of State for political affairs Victoria Nuland. The putsch set in motion a sequence of events, the bloody offensive against the Russians of Ukraine pushed the inhabitants of Crimea – Russian territory passed to Ukraine in Soviet times in 1954 – to decide the secession from Kyiv and the reannexation to Russia with 97% of votes in a popular referendum.  NATO and the EU accused Russia of having illegally annexed Crimea and subjected it to sanctions. Now, they want to move from political to military confrontation. They play with fire, even with the nuclear one.


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This article was originally published in Italian on Il Manifesto.

Manlio Dinucci, award winning author, geopolitical analyst and geographer, Pisa, Italy. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

Featured image: The Royal Navy Type 45 Destroyer, HMS Defender. (OGL v1.0)

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Articles by: Manlio Dinucci

About the author:

Manlio Dinucci est géographe et journaliste. Il a une chronique hebdomadaire “L’art de la guerre” au quotidien italien il manifesto. Parmi ses derniers livres: Geocommunity (en trois tomes) Ed. Zanichelli 2013; Geolaboratorio, Ed. Zanichelli 2014;Se dici guerra…, Ed. Kappa Vu 2014.

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