Given that a sizable portion of Ukraine's economy relies on international trade (much of which is transported via sea lanes), and the potential for amphibious operations on its coastline, it would seem pertinent that Kiev develop a maritime strategy. Perhaps not today, as their foremost concern should be quelling rebellion in Eastern Ukraine. However, definitely as time goes on they will need to adopt sufficient counter-measures. Similar to the proposals I have offered for Georgia, it would probably be within Ukraine's interests to adopt a strategy based around Anti-Access/Area Denial.
As we've seen, A2/AD strategies have been employed effectively on a theoretical level. In 2002, General Paul Van Riper utilized an anti-access strategy during Operation Millennium Challenge, a wargame aimed at reaffirming American network-centric warfare capabilities. However, it really illustrated major flaws in our ability to counter threats in littoral areas. In 2010, a RAND Corporation simulation revealed that China could establish aerial dominance over Taiwan by using ballistic and cruise missiles to strike a devastating decapitating strike at American air and naval bases in the region. Bernard Cole reaffirms China's Anti-Access capability in his 2011 book, The Great Wall at Sea, where he details the aspects of Chinese naval strategy, which incorporates submarines, mines, missiles, and aircraft to keep America outside of the second island chain.
The Ukrainian Navy already fields anti-ship missiles. The P-500 Bazalt is one example of this. For Ukraine, the goal should be to convert a substantial number of these missiles to be able to launch from terrestrial platforms. Land based cruise missiles would be more difficult for the Russian Navy to counter, as compared to relatively defenseless boats in harbor. But more ingredients must be added to this maritime strategy. The use of mines could be employed by Ukraine to defend its territorial waters from Russian intrusion, as well. During World War Two, mines laid in the Pacific Ocean from April, 1945, to Japan's surrender were responsible for 670 damaged or sunk ships. Of the 18 ships sunk or seriously damaged since World War Two, 15 incidents have been from mines. Therefore, mines should play a critical role in Ukrainian naval defense. Next, Ukraine should also further integrate naval special warfare units into its maritime strategy. Using SOF to sabotage naval bases could put a serious dent into Russia's ability to effectively operate. Moreover, these units can also be used to conduct anti-piracy operations, which would help strengthen its relationship with NATO. Finally, Ukraine still needs ships to guard SLOCs from harassment, conduct patrols, and act as visual deterrents. These ships do not have to be large, expensive pieces of equipment. Patrol or missile boats should suffice.
Of course, there are a couple of issues with the strategy I mentioned. First, Georgia's air defense corps was already an effective body prior to the South Ossetian conflict in 2008. This is one reason why I originally argued for Georgia to adopt an A2/AD strategy: they already had a body of soldiers capable of fulfilling an air defense role, so expanding that into anti-ship would not outside the realm of possibilities. Ukraine's entire military, on the other hand has fair quite poorly against Russia's exertion of force against them these past few months. It was quite evident that if they had to, Russian forces could perform quite well against their Ukrainian counterparts stationed in the Crimean Peninsula. Secondly, there is an issue of if this strategy is economical or not. While missiles are certainly less expensive than ships, one has to factor in R&D, platform, mine, and missile production costs associated with developing an Anti-Access/Area Denial force. If it does break the bank, then a reevaluation of the aforementioned strategy would be needed.
Ukraine is not an economic, military, or political powerhouse. They have a number of short comings that must be factored into analyses of their situation. Especially as it pertains to their potential strategic options. They cannot afford a ship-for-ship strategy against Russia. It is simply impossible for them to do so, and trying that out would take away resources that could be devoted towards other procurement and development programs. At the same, though, they cannot afford to ignore Russia's looming presence in the Black Sea. Thus, it is reasonable to assume that A2/AD will be the most efficient model for maritime defense against future Russian encroachment.