Russia Increases Navy Presence in the Black Sea

The Russian Navy Northern Fleet’s flagship cruiser Pyotr Veliky.

Russia increased its military presence in the Black Sea, sending two warships to the area and 15 smaller ships amid tensions with Ukraine.

The military maneuvers, reported by Reuters, come as Russia has built up its military presence along its border with Ukraine and increased fighting in eastern Ukraine with pro-Russian separatists.

The deployments are the latest sign of escalation with the U.S. over Ukraine.

The U.S. slapped a slew of sanctions on Russia over its malign behavior this week, including election meddling and actions in Ukraine. The U.S. government also expelled 10 Russian diplomats.

Moscow responded in kind, kicking 10 Americans out of Russia.

“There are elements of this new EO [executive order] that give us additional authorities that we are not exercising today,” a senior U.S. official said Thursday, warning of extra steps the White House could take.

Read More at the Hill.