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UK says Russians blockading Black Sea as Ukraine girds for Odesa assault

The UK says Russia has effectively blocked off any access to the Black Sea and Sea of Azov, choking off Ukraine’s only sea route.

“Russian naval forces have established a distant blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea coast, effectively isolating Ukraine from international maritime trade,” the UK Ministry of Defence says in an update.

It says Russian forces already made one amphibious landing off the Sea of Azov, and could attempt more.

Earlier, Ukrainian national security adviser Oleksiy Danilov said in a televised address that Russian paratroopers were preparing to move on Odesa, the largest Black Sea city, but would be met with fierce resistance.

“They are awaited there, and they will have no smooth sailing,” he said, according to Ukrinform. He claimed an assault on the city planned for last week was postponed by inclement weather.

Volunteers fill sandbags to build barricades in Odesa, Ukraine, March 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Max Pshybyshevsky)

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