THE Black Sea has fascinated scientists for centuries due its unusual and changing environment.
The 730-mile wide body of water at the southeastern tip of Europe has a rare phenomenon which makes it drastically differ in temperature from top to bottom. But where exactly is it and what is happening there now?
An aerial view of the Black Sea coastline in BulgariaCredit: Getty – Contributor
Where is the Black Sea?
The Black Sea is a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean.
It sits inland at the southeastern point of Europe, between Europe and Asia.
Its coastline is fairly regular, bar the Crimean Peninsula in the north and the narrow Kerch Strait to the east.
Which countries surround the Black Sea?
It is surrounded by Ukraine to the north, Russia to the north east and Georgia to the east.
Turkey then borders it to the south, with Bulgaria and Romania to the west.
It also acts as a drainage basin for a large number of countries, including Albania, Greece and Hungary.
Several countries including Russia and Turkey surround the Black Sea
What happened between Russia and Royal Navy?
On June 23, Russia boasted it dropped bombs and fired warning shots towards a British warship – but UK defence officials deny the incident ever happened.
The Ministry of Defence however outright denies the claims – and stated the 8,500 ton warship was simply conducting an “innocent passage” through Ukrainian waters.
It is latest clash between the West and Russia in the Black Sea, which has been the staging ground for numerous confrontations between warships and warplanes.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “HMS Defender carried out a routine transit from Odesa towards Georgia across the Black Sea.
“As is normal for this route, she entered an internationally recognised traffic separation corridor. She exited that corridor safely at 0945 BST.
“As is routine, Russian vessels shadowed her passage and she was made aware of training exercises in her wider vicinity.”
Russia boasted it fired warning shots at a British warship but UK defence officials deny it
However, Russian state media reports a much more dramatic version of events in the latest war of words between London and Moscow.
Putin’s defence ministry claims the Type-45 crossed Russia’s maritime border near Cape Fiolent at 11.52am local time and was warned to stand down.
The 500ft destroyer is alleged to have kept its course and a Russian border patrol vessel opened fire twice – once at 12.06pm and again at 12.08pm.
And then it’s claimed an SU-24 fighter jump dropped four warning bombs in the direction of the vessel.
It was then stated at 12.23pm the British ship – which is armed with an arsenal of anti-ship and anti-air missiles – left Russian waters.
Moscow has summoned British officials to answer for the confrontation which comes amid heightened tensions between Russia and the West.
It comes after Russia boasted it had “expelled” another British warship – HMS Dragon – from the region back in October.
The Royal Navy’s HMS Defender arrives at the Black Sea port of Odessa, UkraineCredit: Reuters