The first Ukrainian grain ship launched; Cereal tycoon killed in strike in Russia

  • First Ukrainian grain ship bound for Lebanon
  • Turkey says more ships will follow
  • Russian missiles pound the port of Mykolaiv
  • Ukrainian grain tycoon Oleksiy Vadatursky killed in Mykolaiv
  • Putin’s maritime ambitions include the Black Sea, the Arctic

KYIV, Aug 1 (Reuters) – The first ship to leave Ukraine with grain exports since the start of the Russian invasion is due to leave on Monday under a guaranteed safe passage agreement, Turkey’s Ministry of Health said. the Defence, adding that others would follow.

The Razoni ship, flying the flag of Sierra Leone, will depart from the port of Odessa for Lebanon with its cargo of maize, the ministry said.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24 triggered a global food and energy crisis that is shaking the global economy. The United Nations has warned of a global hunger crisis with a “real risk” of multiple famines this year.

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Russia and Ukraine account for almost a third of world wheat exports. But Western sanctions against Russia and fighting along Ukraine’s east coast have prevented grain ships from leaving ports safely.

Razoni’s departure was made possible after Moscow, Kyiv, Ankara and the United Nations signed a grain and fertilizer export deal in July. The agreement aims to allow safe passage of grain shipments to and from Chornomorsk, Odessa and the port of Pivdennyi.

“It has been agreed that the freighter Razoni, flying the flag of Sierra Leone, which is loaded with maize, will leave the port of Odessa at 08:30 am (0530 GMT) on August 1 to go to Lebanon,” the official said. Turkish Defense Ministry. in a note.

“The deployment of other vessels is planned within the framework of the corridor and the method determined” as part of the July agreement, he said.

Ukrainian officials said there were 17 ships docked in Ukrainian Black Sea ports with nearly 600,000 tons of cargo. Among them, 16 held Ukrainian grain for a total volume of about 580,000 tons.

Russia has denied responsibility for the food crisis, accusing Western sanctions of slowing exports and Ukraine of mining the approaches to its ports.

BOMBING OF PORTS

Russian missiles pounded Ukraine’s Black Sea port city of Mykolaiv on Sunday as President Vladimir Putin signed a new naval doctrine making the United States Russia’s main rival and setting out maritime ambitions in the Black Sea and the United States. ‘Arctic.

Putin did not mention the conflict in Ukraine during a Navy Day speech, but said the navy would receive Zircon hypersonic cruise missiles in the coming months. Missiles can travel at nine times the speed of sound, outpacing air defenses. Read more

Navy Day celebrations in the port of Sevastopol were interrupted when five Russian navy personnel were injured in an explosion after a suspected drone flew into the yard of the Russian Black Sea Fleet , the governor of the Crimean port city, Mikhail Razvozhayev, told Russian media.

Reuters could not independently verify reports from the battlefield.

Mykolaiv Mayor Oleksandr Senkevych said on Sunday that more than 12 missile strikes, likely the most powerful on the city in five months of war, hit homes and schools, killing two and injuring three. The missile strikes continued until Sunday evening.

Ukrainian grain tycoon Oleksiy Vadatursky, founder and owner of the Nibulon agricultural company, and his wife were killed in their home, Mykolaiv Governor Vitaliy Kim said on Telegram.

Based in Mykolaiv, a strategically important city that borders the mainly Russian-occupied Kherson region, Nibulon specializes in the production and export of wheat, barley and corn, and has its own fleet and shipyard. .

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy described Vadatursky’s death as “a great loss for all of Ukraine”.

Zelenskiy added that the businessman – one of Ukraine’s wealthiest with Forbes estimating his net worth in 2021 at $430 million – had built a modern grain market with a network of terminals and elevators.

“It is these people, these companies, precisely the south of Ukraine, who have guaranteed global food security,” Zelenskiy said in his evening speech. “It’s always been that way. And it will be that way again.”

Zelenskiy said Ukraine may harvest only half of its usual amount this year due to disruption to agriculture from the biggest conflict in Europe since World War II. Farmers said they tried to harvest between Russian bombardments of their fields.

DANGER IS

After failing to quickly capture the capital, Kyiv, early in the war, Russia turned its attention to eastern and southern Ukraine.

Zelenskiy said that Russia had transferred some forces from the eastern region of Donbass to the southern regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.

“As informed by the Ukrainian authorities last week, Russia is likely to reassign a significant number of its forces from the northern sector of Donbass to southern Ukraine,” the UK Ministry of Defense said in an intelligence update. .

He said Russia was likely adjusting the operational design of its Donbass offensive and had likely identified its Zaporizhzhia front as vulnerable and in need of reinforcement.

Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and Ukraine says Russia is seeking to do the same with the Donbass region and link it to Crimea. Russian-backed separatists controlled parts of the region before the invasion.

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Reports from Reuters offices; Written by Michael Perry; Editing by Robert Birsel

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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