Russian forces may use sea mines to strike civilian shipping targets in the Black Sea, a United Kingdom intelligence report published Oct. 4 said.
According to U.K. intelligence, Russia intends to blame Ukraine for any successful attacks.
"Russia almost certainly wants to avoid openly sinking civilian ships, instead falsely laying blame on Ukraine for any attacks against civilian vessels in the Black Sea," the report said.
The Russian military has blocked trade routes through the Black Sea since the collapse of the Black Sea Grain Initiative in July. At the same time, Russia has targeted Ukraine's port and grain infrastructure with repeated attacks.
Russia's aggression in the Black Sea poses a major risk to global food security. According to the U.K. intelligence report, Russia has "already destroyed enough grain to feed more than one million people for a year."
In recent weeks, the Ukrainian military has launched successful strikes at Russian military targets in the Black Sea and occupied Crimea.
On Sept. 22, Ukraine attacked the headquarters of Russia's Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol with long-range Storm Shadow missiles.
U.K. Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said that attempts to blame Kyiv for strikes on the civilian shipping targets would be dismissed.
"The world is watching – and we see right through Russia’s cynical attempts to lay blame on Ukraine for their attacks," Cleverly said.