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Greyzone Lawfare: Russia and the Voyages of the SPARTA IV

Russia’s likely use of the SPARTA IV, an alleged civilian vessel, to transport military materiel from Tartus, Syria to its port in Novorossiysk is yet another example of Moscow’s penchant for manipulating international law to satisfy its wartime agenda.

Under a shroud: the Russian SPARTA IV has transited the Bosporus numerous times, likely carrying military materiel to Ukraine

Less than a week after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu announced that his government would be utilising its power granted by the 1936 Montreux Convention to severely restrict the passage of military and auxiliary vessels through the Bosporus Strait.

This closure should have prevented the movement of wartime vessels through the Bosporus, preventing illicit redeployment of any military materiel. However, as in the case of the SPARTA IV (IMO: 9743033), certain Russian vessels appear to continue regularly transiting the Bosporus with military materiel, in breach of international law.

Using a diverse range of data sources, analytical techniques and intelligence methods for accurate data analysis, this open source intelligence (OSINT) investigation unearths the truth behind Russia’s attempt to manipulate international law to sustain its unjustified invasion of Ukraine.

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