According to Ukrainian and Turkish officials, Monday’s departure of a ship carrying grain from Odesa, Ukraine, was made under a safe passage agreement. The first departure since the Russian invasion five months ago prevented shipping through the Black Sea.
The Ukrainian foreign minister described it as “a day for relief for the whole world,”, particularly for countries facing food shortages or hunger due to disrupted shipping.
After Turkey and the United Nations had reached a deal to export grain and fertilizer between Russia and Ukraine, sailing was possible.
Oleksandr Kubrakov, Infrastructure Minister, said that the first grain ship since Russian Aggression had left port. “Today, Ukraine and its partners take another step towards preventing world hunger.”
The Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24th has caused a global food and energy crisis. The United Nations has also warned about the possibility of multiple famines.
Nearly a third of global wheat exports are from Russia and Ukraine. However, grain ships have been unable to leave ports safely due to Western sanctions against Russia and fighting along Ukraine’s eastern seaboard.
This agreement will allow grain shipments to Odesa, Chornomorsk, and Port of Pivdennyi to be safely transported.
Dmytro Kuleba, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, stated on Twitter that “The day for relief for the whole world, especially our friends in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, as the first Ukrainian grain leaves Odesa following months of Russian blockade.”
Moscow denies responsibility for the crisis and blames Western sanctions for slowing trade and Ukraine for extracting the ports’ approaches.
Hulusi Akar, Turkish Defence Minister, stated that the Razoni would anchor in Bosphorus, Istanbul, on Tuesday afternoon. A joint team of Russians, Ukrainians, and Turkish representatives will inspect the vessel. He stated, “It will continue until no problems arise.”
According to the Ukrainian president, 17 vessels are currently docked at Black Sea ports, carrying 600,000 tonnes of cargo, mostly grain.
Kubrakov stated that more ships would soon follow. He said unlocking ports would generate at least $1 billion in foreign currency revenue for Ukraine’s economy and enable the agricultural sector to plan next year’s sowing season.
The U.S. Embassy, Kyiv, welcomed the shipping resumption and stated: “The world is watching for continued implementation of this agreement to feed people all over the world with millions upon millions of tons of Ukrainian grain trapped in Ukraine.”
Attacks in South and East
Despite the success with grain shipments, the war continued elsewhere.
According to Pavlo Kyrylenko, three civilians were killed in Donetsk by Russian shelling – one in Bakhmut and two in Solar – in the past 24 hours.
Bakhmut, a major industrial and transport city, has been under Russian bombardment since last week as the Kremlin’s forces attempt to occupy Donetsk.
It connects to the Luhansk region’s towns of Lysychansk and Sievierodonetsk. Russia is nearly all over this area. Serhiy Gaidai, Luhansk governor, stated that the road was vital for transporting weapons to Ukrainians fighting in Sievierodonetsk and evacuating residents from that region.
On Monday, Oleh Synegubov, the regional governor, said that Russian strikes also struck Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city. It is located near Russia’s border. He said that two civilians were injured.
Russia failed to capture Kyiv’s capital during the war quickly and now has its eyes on the east and south of Ukraine. It has been trying to capture the Donbas, made up of Donetsk and Luhansk, and has also turned its attention to the Donetsk region.
Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian President, stated that Russia had been moving some troops from the Donbas to Zaporizhzhya and the southern Kherson regions.
Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, and Kyiv claims that Moscow wants to do the same with Donbas and link it with Crimea in the South. Russian-backed protestors controlled the area before the invasion.
Russian missiles pounded Mykolaiv on Sunday, a port city at the River Bug estuary of the Black Sea bordering the Russian-occupied Kherson region.
Oleksandr Senkevych, Mykolaiv Mayor, said that more than 12 missiles were launched – possibly the most powerful in five months of the war on the city – and hit schools and homes with two deaths and three injuries.
Oleksiy Vadatursky (founder and owner of Nibulon agriculture company) was a Ukrainian grain tycoon. His wife, Vitaliy Kim, said they were both killed at home.
Zelensky stated that the businessman, one of Ukraine’s most powerful, had been working to build a modern grain market and network of transshipment terminals. He addresses “these people, those companies, precisely south of Ukraine who has guaranteed the world’s bread security.” This was always the case. It will continue to be so.
Zelensky stated that Ukraine could harvest half of its average amount due to the disruptions to agriculture caused by the war. Farmers tried to harvest between the Russian shelling of their farms and those in nearby villages and towns.