Trouble at Sea

Signals indicate Russia-Ukraine tensions set to escalate.


Predata signals provided advanced warning of the altercation between Russian and Ukrainian vessels in the strait connecting the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea. Now they suggest tensions will continue to escalate.

On Sunday, Russian warships opened fire on three Ukranian vessels in the Kerch strait, injuring six sailors. The Russians subsequently seized the ships and detained more than 20 Ukrainian sailors. The incident marks the most significant escalation in tensions between Russia and Ukraine since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and triggered a separatist war in eastern Ukraine.  

In the days before the Russian ships attacked the Ukrainian vessels, a Predata signal that anticipates acts of Russian naval aggression rose sharply. The signal has maintained its upward trajectory, suggesting further confrontations at sea could occur in the coming days.  


Moreover, the situation has triggered popular unrest in Ukraine. After Russia seized the Ukranian vessels, rioting began outside the the Russian Embassy in Kiev and at points along the Ukraine-Russia border. A Predata signal that anticipates domestic instability in Ukraine had begun rising in mid-November and continues to climb. This suggests Ukrainian national movements and other groups may continue to mobilize and exert significant pressure on the government to not back down.