Why patrolling the Black Sea just got more dangerous

Full video transcript

Why patrolling the Black Sea

just got more dangerous

When Russia

annexed Crimea in 2014,

the move affected

the whole of the Black Sea region.

In particular, it meant

that Ukraine had to make changes,

as Russia had turned

from a neighbour to a threat.

Russia, unfortunately,

broke balance of power in this region.

Crimea had been

the main port for Ukraine's navy.

Many Ukrainian ships were captured

by Russian forces

during the annexation.

But some of the vessels

managed to escape from Crimea

and headed for Odessa.

NATO Review went out on patrol

with Odessa's border guards

to see how they approached

the new situation in the Black Sea.

The guards set out

to check out a suspicious ship,

loitering just

outside Odessa's port's waters.

Odessa became

kind of a new military hub

in the south of Ukraine.

But Odessa is not

well equipped for the new role

in a developing

and potentially hostile situation.

The main tasks of the border guards

who work on these kind of vessels,

is more connected with issues

such as contraband, smuggling,

human trafficking, that kind of thing.

And less with what's been happening

in the east and the challenges there.

And its new duties meant that,

suddenly,

the guards were looking out

for more than usual.

In June, one of these vessels was

patrolling near Mariupol, in the east.

The people on board saw

a suspicious device in the water.

They tried to retrieve it.

It blew up, causing fatalities.

So, whether they like it or not, they

have been drawn into that situation.

Odessa is important,

because it has Ukraine's largest port

and is also an industrial hub

in the country's south.

That means

it has more potential targets,

but possibly not enough

to defend them with.

We used to have just one ship,

a boat to defend our area.

At this point, we do it permanently,

and our attention is now focused

on the industrial facilities,

which are ports of Ukraine

and adjacent areas.

This part of the operation

is where the personnel

on this larger vessel

will board the smaller vessel,

which is alongside us now.

They will then make

contact with the container ship,

which is over on the far side.

The container ship is not yet

authorized to enter the port waters.

And this is a control to make sure

everything that's on that ship,

is what is supposed

to be on that ship.

If it's anything different,

these guys will take action.

The new security situation in

the Black Sea means that exercises

that NATO has been conducting there,

including this one,

Sea Breeze, are more important

than they would have been

a couple of years ago.

By capturing Crimea,

Russia provoked NATO.

It was said inside the European Union

and NATO structures

that we do need

to re-estimate and re-establish

and to accept new strategy

towards the Black Sea region.

The guards have contacted

and assessed the ship

and no problems

were found in this case.

The operation is finished.

We're coming into port

and this is one of the examples

that's been taken

both by countries like Ukraine

and by organizations like NATO

to make sure

that the Black Sea stays safe.

As Ukraine adapts

to the new Black Sea reality,

the biggest irony is

that Russia had a lease,

allowing it to base its Black Sea fleet

in Sebastopol Crimea

until 2042 at least,

meaning that there was

no military need to annex Crimea.

Why patrolling the Black Sea

just got more dangerous

When Russia

annexed Crimea in 2014,

the move affected

the whole of the Black Sea region.

In particular, it meant

that Ukraine had to make changes,

as Russia had turned

from a neighbour to a threat.

Russia, unfortunately,

broke balance of power in this region.

Crimea had been

the main port for Ukraine's navy.

Many Ukrainian ships were captured

by Russian forces

during the annexation.

But some of the vessels

managed to escape from Crimea

and headed for Odessa.

NATO Review went out on patrol

with Odessa's border guards

to see how they approached

the new situation in the Black Sea.

The guards set out

to check out a suspicious ship,

loitering just

outside Odessa's port's waters.

Odessa became

kind of a new military hub

in the south of Ukraine.

But Odessa is not

well equipped for the new role

in a developing

and potentially hostile situation.

The main tasks of the border guards

who work on these kind of vessels,

is more connected with issues

such as contraband, smuggling,

human trafficking, that kind of thing.

And less with what's been happening

in the east and the challenges there.

And its new duties meant that,

suddenly,

the guards were looking out

for more than usual.

In June, one of these vessels was

patrolling near Mariupol, in the east.

The people on board saw

a suspicious device in the water.

They tried to retrieve it.

It blew up, causing fatalities.

So, whether they like it or not, they

have been drawn into that situation.

Odessa is important,

because it has Ukraine's largest port

and is also an industrial hub

in the country's south.

That means

it has more potential targets,

but possibly not enough

to defend them with.

We used to have just one ship,

a boat to defend our area.

At this point, we do it permanently,

and our attention is now focused

on the industrial facilities,

which are ports of Ukraine

and adjacent areas.

This part of the operation

is where the personnel

on this larger vessel

will board the smaller vessel,

which is alongside us now.

They will then make

contact with the container ship,

which is over on the far side.

The container ship is not yet

authorized to enter the port waters.

And this is a control to make sure

everything that's on that ship,

is what is supposed

to be on that ship.

If it's anything different,

these guys will take action.

The new security situation in

the Black Sea means that exercises

that NATO has been conducting there,

including this one,

Sea Breeze, are more important

than they would have been

a couple of years ago.

By capturing Crimea,

Russia provoked NATO.

It was said inside the European Union

and NATO structures

that we do need

to re-estimate and re-establish

and to accept new strategy

towards the Black Sea region.

The guards have contacted

and assessed the ship

and no problems

were found in this case.

The operation is finished.

We're coming into port

and this is one of the examples

that's been taken

both by countries like Ukraine

and by organizations like NATO

to make sure

that the Black Sea stays safe.

As Ukraine adapts

to the new Black Sea reality,

the biggest irony is

that Russia had a lease,

allowing it to base its Black Sea fleet

in Sebastopol Crimea

until 2042 at least,

meaning that there was

no military need to annex Crimea.