Mariupol'

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Russian jet fighters fly over a bridge connecting the Russian mainland with the Crimean peninsula with a cargo ship beneath it after three Ukrainian navy vessels was stopped by Russia from entering the Sea of Azov via the Kerch Strait in the Black Sea, Crimea. File photograph: Pavlishak Alexey/Reuters

Ukraine accused Russia of illegally seizing three of its ships in the Black Sea after opening fire on them on Sunday, a charge that if confirmed coul(...)

Russian president Vladimir Putin attends a ceremony marking Navy Day in Kaliningrad in July  2015. Photograph: Mikhail Klimentyev/AFP/Getty Images

Question: what do Tartus, Crimea and Kaliningrad have in common, and why is this single commonality key to understanding the wars in Syria and Ukraine(...)