Russia’s military has been building up near Ukraine and Putin is claiming ownership over more of the region’s sea and air. With Russia staging more military exercises in the Black Sea and massing thousands of forces at or around the Ukraine border, the trade starts to become a bit more nervous about global uncertaintiy. The office of European Union foreign affairs released intel that +100,000 Russian forces have now amassed on Ukraine’s border and in Crimea, many argue this is the largest number of Russian troops ever to be in that area. From what I understand, tensions have really heated up in parts of eastern Ukraine, where Russian-backed separatists have been locked in a difficult battle with Ukraine’s U.S. and European-backed military since 2014. Remember, Crimea is the peninsula that was unilaterally annexed away from Ukraine by President Vladimir Putin in 2014. His government now considers it Russian territory, and while the U.S. and Europe have refused to acknowledge the takeover, the Russian military has firm control over the outcrop of land in the Black Sea and that area is important in regards to exports and trade. I promise you, if people start tossing bombs around there will be a lot fewer panamax’s wanting to swim in those waters. Below are a couple of maps that will give you a better idea of the importance of the area wy the commodity markets and macro traders could get a bit more nervous. Keep in mind, just last week Russia’s Defense Ministry said it was closing off navigation in parts of the Black Sea to foreign military and other vessels for the next six-months. Keeping my eye on this powder-keg!