Could Ukraine recruit privateers?
In yesterday’s episode of What’s Going on With Shipping, Dr. Sal Mercogliano – former merchant seaman and maritime historian – discusses the situation on Day 3 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in particular the naval operations that are take place in the Black Sea and the location of the largest Russian Fleet in the Mediterranean.
In this video, Mercogliano recaps the fate of three merchant ships attacked in the Black Sea and the situation of merchant shipping in the region.
He discusses a potential naval strategy to be adopted by Ukraine to counter the Russian invasion, issuing letters of marque and retaliating to attack and capture Russian Federation vessels on the high seas. With new sanctions against some Russian vessels, France has arrested one such vessel, but the letters of marque could expose the entire Russian tanker, cargo, offshore and fishing fleet for capture. Sal explores whether this could force Russia to provide escorts or send its ships into port or national waters, placing an additional economic burden on them. Could this cripple Russia’s ability to sealift gasoline and supplies across the Black Sea? Could the Ukrainian ship register issue a letter of marque to Ukrainian officers currently working on board Russian ships?