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Facts for Prelims
News: The sinking of Russian Guided Missile cruiser Moskva, which sank in the Black Sea is a major loss for Russia amid its 50 day long invasion of Ukraine.
• The Black Sea, also known as the Euxine Sea, is one of the major water bodies and a famous inland sea of the world.
• It is surrounded by the Pontic, Caucasus, and Crimean Mountains in the south, east and north respectively.
• It links to the Sea of Marmara through the Bosphorous Strait and then to the Aegean Sea through Dardanelles Strait.
• The Black sea is also connected to the Sea of Azov through the Kerch Strait.
Importance of Black Sea for Russia:
• For Russia, the Black Sea is an entry point into the Mediterranean and a buffer between NATO and itself. It also serves to secure Russia's economic gateway to major markets in southern Europe.
• Militarily, the Black Sea plays a key role in Russia's campaign in Ukraine, as its Black Sea Fleet has been blockading the besieged port city of Mariupol. It comprises Russian vessels in the Black Sea proper, the Sea of Azov and the Mediterranean.
• Complete domination of the Black Sea and Sea of Azov is a key part of Russia's campaign, as it would give Russia a major leg-up in the Crimea-Odesa-Mariupol region, given that Sevastopol is already under its command.