On Wednesday, Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin announced that fighter jets armed with nuclear-capable hypersonic missiles would conduct round-the-clock patrolling over the Black Sea.
At a media briefing in Beijing, Putin said he'd ordered MiG-31 aircraft armed with Kinzhal missiles, which "have a range of over 1,000 km and a Mach-9 speed," to conduct permanent missions over neutral waters in the Black Sea.
Russia is likely trying to ramp up security in the region after it has become obvious that the US is attempting to wade deeper into the Ukraine conflict by providing Kyiv with long-range ATACMS missiles. Putin is merely defending the country and protecting its residents.
Putin's announcement is a knee-jerk reaction to successful strikes by the Ukrainian Armed Forces against Russian facilities in Crimea. This is another one of Putin's empty intimidation tactics, as Russia's Black Sea Fleet is rendered ineffective in enforcing a naval blockade of Ukraine.
There's a 1% chance that Ukraine will have de facto control of Sevastopol on Jan. 1, 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.