Nearly five years ago Vladimir Putin’s regime forcefully and illegally annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula. Today Russia is attempting to forcefully and illegally annex the international waters of the Sea of Azov.

At stake is southeastern Ukraine’s access to the sea as well as Ukraine’s economic viability and very sovereignty. But Moscow’s gunboat diplomacy also has broader implications for international law, maritime rights, and Black Sea security.

Listen to the latest Power Vertical Podcast as Brian Whitmore navigates the choppy waters of the Sea of Azov with guests Stephen Blank, a senior fellow for Russia at the American Foreign Policy Council and Donald Jensen, a Senior Fellow at CEPA.