Russian warships patrol the surface of the Black Sea, launching missiles at Ukrainian towns while creating a de facto blockade, threatening any vessel that might try to breach it.

Skimming the water’s surface, Ukrainian sea drones carry explosives stealthily toward Russian ports and vessels, a growing threat in Ukraine’s arsenal. In the airspace above, NATO and allied surveillance planes and drones fly over international waters, gathering intelligence used to blunt Moscow’s invasion, even as Russia fills the skies with its own aircraft.

Bordered by Ukraine, Russia and three NATO countries, but sometimes overlooked in the war, the Black Sea has become an increasingly dangerous cauldron of military and geopolitical tensions, following Moscow’s decision last month to end a deal ensuring the safe passage of Ukrainian grain.