Mines of Curious Origin Popping Up Around the Black Sea
Besides reports of assorted recent mine warfare in the Ukraine littoral— a pastime that goes back to 1877 in the region– random floating sea mines are being found by NATO navies in their home waters. Russian state media says 420 Ukrainian sea mines had somehow gone adrift in a recent storm and were loose in the Black Sea, meanwhile, the Ukrainians have denied this, thus leaving the origin a bit hazier.
On Saturday, the Turkish Navy discovered an “old type” Russian-made mine that had been found by fishermen in the upper Bosphorus strait and their EOD types from the Aydin-class mine-hunting vessel TCG Akcay blew it in place off the coastal village of Rumelifeneri.
On Monday the Turks intercepted a second mine detected off Igneada near the Bulgarian border.
Between Istanbul and Odessa, the Romanians have also picked up a mine of their own. On Monday, the Cosar-class minelayer Viceamiral Constantin Bălescu (F274) put divers in the water to tackle a mine 39 miles off Capu Midia.
The device, according to the interwebs, is a small Soviet M1943 MyaM-type shallow water (inshore/river) contact mine of the type licensed to both Iran and Iraq back in the 1980s with very fresh Ukrainian naval markings.
As the horns are still covered, it would seem the mine was unarmed, pointing to the fact it could have A) been in storage and accidentally hit the water somehow, or B) is a little false flag bluster to make the Ukrainians look bad while shutting down commercial traffic in the Black Sea.