THE JERUSALEM POST:
The Sea of Azov itself is a small sea located on the shores of Russia and Ukraine and is connected to the Black Sea by the Strait of Krech. The sea is an important shipping waterway and is a profitable fishing area.
Throughout the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russia has exerted control over the area due to their existing borders and control of Crimea, which it seized in 2014, but Ukraine has still had a strong presence on its shores.
These were specifically seen in the regions of Ukraine that border the Sea of Azov, which are the Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk oblasts. While Donetsk has been heavily controlled by the pro-Russian separatist-run breakaway the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), they didn’t have control over the entire oblast, specifically the vital port city of Mariupol.