BLACK SEA (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 - Geography)

News-CRUX-10     18th December 2023        
output themes

Context: Recently, the Ukraine-Russia war witnessed a pivotal moment on September 13, 2023, as Ukraine targeted Russian naval assets in Sevastopol, home of Russia's Black Sea fleet, altering the course of the conflict.

Black Sea

  • Location: The Black Sea is flanked by Ukraine to the north and northwest, Russia and Georgia to the east, Turkey to the south, and Bulgaria and Romania to the west.

oPneumonic: BURGR-T (Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, Romania and Turkey).

  • Maritime Geography: Connecting to the Sea of Marmara through the Bosphorus Strait and further linking to the Aegean Sea via the Dardanelles strait.

Importance of the Black Sea to Russia

  • Strategic Significance: The domination of the Black Sea region is a geostrategic imperative for Russia, facilitating the projection of Russian power in the Mediterranean and ensuring access to key markets in southern Europe.
  • Mediterranean Gateway: Serving as Russia's historical warm water gateway to Europe.
  • Strategic Buffer: Acting as a crucial strategic buffer between NATO and Russia.
  • Black Sea Fleet and Control Efforts: Russia, particularly since the Crimean crisis of 2014, has been actively striving to gain complete control over the Black Sea. This effort is exemplified by the deployment of its Black Sea naval fleet in the region.
  • Historical Legacy of the Black Sea Fleet: The Black Sea Fleet, with its roots traced back to 1783, encompasses warships of the Russian Navy in the Black Sea, Sea of Azov, and the eastern Mediterranean.