US upgrades Ukrainian ports to fit American warships

As tensions rise between Russia and Ukraine on the Black Sea, the US is upgrading several Ukrainian naval bases to give American and NATO warships the ability to dock just miles from Russia-controlled Crimea.

Centered at the Ochakiv Naval Base and the military facility at Mykolaiv — 40 miles east of Odessa and less than 100 northwest of Crimea — the American-funded effort includes reinforcing and upgrading existing piers and adding a new floating dock, security fencing around the bases, ship repair facilities, and a pair of brand-new Maritime Operations Centers from which Ukrainian and NATO forces can direct exercises and coordinate activities.

The upgrades come after last November’s incident where Russian warships fired on and seized three Ukrainian navy vessels in the Kerch Strait between Russia and Ukraine. Russia is still holding the crews.