A merchant ship under US sanctions passed Turkeys Bosphorus Strait on its way from Syria to Russia late last month. European intelligence officials who tracked the Sparta II say it carried military vehicles to bolster President Vladimir Putins war in Ukraine.

The ships journey to the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk underlines the Kremlins efforts to tap resources for the invasion thats now in its sixth month, as supply lines strain under the pressure of Europes largest military campaign since World War II.