How many remembers the Russian tanker used last winter to prevent transit through the Kerch Strait? Many Italians, probably, no, because everything that cannot be described in football terms is of little interest to us. The Ukrainians and the Russians, for opposite reasons, remember it very well.
Last winter - strategically positioned under the low bridge between the Crimea and the Russian Federation - it made the world known about the crisis of the Azov sea: Russia, affirming its sovereignty over the bridge and surrounding waters and therefore subjecting all to enervating controls the ships in transit to and from the said sea, had in fact strangled, according to Kiev, the port city of Mariupol, with great damage for the Ukrainian metallurgical export.
Evidently, as when signing the number plate of a vehicle that damaged us, in the Ukraine of the new president Volodymyr Zelensky, the Russian tanker was well impressed in his mind Neyma, meanwhile renamed Nika Spirit but still perfectly recognizable even by simply monitoring it on the main boat tracking websites. It so happened that once it happened, no one knows for what strategic error, at hand, on Ukrainian territory, in the port of Ismail, the only district of western and southern Ukraine that in the recent parliamentary elections voted for the Blockade of Opposition near the Kremlin, the Ukrainian secret service and the Prosecutor General's office seized it and retained enough to cause protests and threats from the Duma and Kremlin deputies.
The objective, at first sight, was political: to send a message to Moscow to let people know that even the Ukraine of the young leader from the entertainment world can damage Russian interests. In short, it is a bit as if, instead of barking at the moon in front of the NGO boats that violate Italian territorial waters, Minister Salvini had the power to have them seized once they reappeared in an Italian port, even without illegal immigrants on board. One thing, however, is having the power to perform an action, perhaps to test the opponent's reaction, another and precipitate an international crisis. Zelensky merely "took the measures" in the Kremlin and soon released the ship and crew.
Finally, it is worth noting the arrival of a convoy of Russian supplies for the separatist regions, after transit through the Rostov region, and the presence of an unmanned American spy plane in the skies of eastern Ukraine, obviously committed to monitoring the actions and to try to predict Russia's intentions. In the face of those who, in Italy, still believe that it is possible to play at being Moscow's best friends - and not just serious political and commercial partners - while at the same time continuing to promise eternal love to Washington ...
The winds of a new cold war have by no means ended with the passage from Barak Obama to Donald Trump: it has only changed the style. It is possible to notice this by following the events in the Donbass.