The Russian confrontation with Ukrainian forces is nothing to sneeze at. As this article points out, the two largest standing armies in Europe are now confronting each other.

The whole thing may seem obscure but it isn’t, because as I understand it, most Ukrainian exports flow out through the Azov. And Ukrainian exports have a very long history. I was thinking this morning about how the three great breadbaskets of the Roman empire were Sicily, Egypt and Ukraine. Also how one ancient Greek war—I forget which—was won by one side closing the Bosporus to the other, and so preventing it from getting the Crimean wheat it needed to keep its people fed and fighting.

I also was surprised to read how shallow the Sea of Azov is—average depth of about 23 feet, maximum depth just twice that. That must make operating in there particularly sporty. I wonder what high wind storms are like. In my experience, the shallower the water, the odder the waver patterns, and the more difficult to deal with

Ukraine photo