Russian naval forces have established a "distant blockade" of Ukraine's Black Sea coast, the British Ministry of Defense said on Sunday, warning that Russian warships are continuing attacks from the sea and possibly plotting landings from it.

The blockade has left Ukraine "effectively isolated" from international maritime trade as the Russian navy continues to conduct missile strikes against the country and plan amphibious landing operations, according to British intelligence.

"Russian naval forces have established a distant blockade of Ukraine's Black Sea coast, effectively isolating Ukraine from international maritime trade," the British Ministry of Defense said on Sunday in an intelligence update posted on Twitter.

"Russian naval forces are also continuing to conduct missile strikes against targets throughout Ukraine. Russia has already conducted one amphibious landing in the Sea of Azov and could look to conduct further such operations in the coming weeks," the update continued.


At the start of the invasion last month, U.S. defense officials confirmed a Russian amphibious assault consisting of naval infantry moving ashore from the Sea of Azov, west of Mariupol, in the south of the Donetsk Oblast.

While Russian ships are in control of the shipping lanes, the Ukrainian military has reportedly had some successes on the Black Sea during the war.

On March 8, the Ukrainian military claimed it had destroyed the Vasily Bykov near the port city of Odesa, one of two Russian warships that conducted the assault on Snake Island in the Black Sea last month. The government claims it is one of two Russian ships to have been destroyed during the course of the war thus far.

Ukraine, the world's second-largest grain shipper, has roughly 1,700 miles of coastline along the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov and 15 merchant seaports.

The blockade stands to disrupt a major trading corridor for Ukraine and the other countries with a coast on the Black Sea, including Georgia to the east, Turkey to the south, and Bulgaria and Romania to the west. Russia also has a coast on the sea.

Russian forces took control of the other key waterway, the Sea of Azov, and closed shipping in and out of it at the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine last month.


The United Nations's shipping agency said on Friday that it will seek to create a "safe maritime corridor" to allow merchant ships and their crews stuck in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov to leave without the risk of coming under attack.

Hundreds of merchant ships have been stranded in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov since the start of the war, and at least five have been hit, according to reports.