One recent summer morning, four Ukrainian Sea Guards peered out from a speeding patrol boat nicknamed Little Boy. Bubbly pop hits from the 1990s blared over the hum of the engine propelling them through the choppy swells of the Sea of Azov.
The airy tunes contrast sharply with the rising tension in this sea, stoked, Ukraine says, by its powerful and ever-encroaching foe lurking in the waters: Russia.
Around six nautical miles from the port of Mariupol, a symbol of that new tension came into view: the Ukrainian armed cutter-class ship Lyubomir, bobbing on the waves. From its top deck, one guard trained his eyes on the horizon as another stood rigid behind a heavy machine gun on the lower deck…
To read more visit RFERL.