Russian military forces Thursday began 10 days of exercises with warships off a port on the Black Sea, stoking fears among the West that an invasion of Ukraine could come soon.

The news: Six ships arrived at the Sevastopol port in Crimea, per The Washington Post.

  • These ships are often used to unload military troops, vehicles and equipment.
  • Some of these ships were used when Russia invaded Georgia in 2008.
Related
Ukraine is urging calm, saying the Russian invasion won’t happen soon
Ukraine’s president says there will be a ‘full-scale’ war across Europe if Russia invades

Details: Russian National Guard units and other Russian military troops have been seen gathering near Ukraine, too, according to BBC News.

  • “According to our observations, one or two more weeks are necessary to complete possible preparations for a potential large-scale invasion,” said Kirill Mikhailov, an investigative reporter with the Conflict Intelligence Team, per BBC News.

Why it matters: Ukrainian officials called the maneuvers “unprecedented” that made travel through the Black Sea and Sea of Azov impossible, according to The Washington Post.

  • “In essence, this is a significant and unjustified complication of international shipping, especially trade, which can cause complex economic and social consequences, especially for the ports of Ukraine,” the Foreign Ministry said.

The other side: Per Foreign Policy, Ukraine has started military exercises, too.

  • “The fact that Ukraine’s forces are gearing up at the same time as Russia’s signals a shift from a previous position of wariness over whether its actions would provoke Moscow,” according to Foreign Policy.