First grain ship from Ukraine departed; Grain magnate killed in Russia strike

  • First grain ship from Ukraine on its way to Lebanon
  • Turkey says more ships will follow
  • Russian missiles storm the port of Mykolaiv
  • Ukrainian grain magnate 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 carrying grain exports since the start of the Russian invasion will depart Monday under a guaranteed safe passage agreement, the Turkish defense ministry said, adding more will follow.

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

The Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24 has sparked a global food and energy crisis that is rocking 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 nearly a third of global wheat exports. But Western sanctions against Russia and fighting along Ukraine’s eastern coast have prevented grain ships from safely leaving ports.

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

“It has been agreed that the Sierra Leone-flagged freighter Razoni, loaded with maize, will depart from the port of Odessa on August 1 at 08:30 AM (0530 GMT) to go to Lebanon,” the Turkish Defense Ministry said. . in a note.

“Deployment of other vessels is planned within the scope of the established corridor and method,” as part of the July agreement, it said.

Ukrainian officials have said 17 ships were docked in Ukraine’s Black Sea ports with nearly 600,000 tons of cargo. Of them, 16 contain Ukrainian grain with a total volume of about 580,000 tons.

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

BOMBING OF PORTS

On Sunday, Russian missiles shelled the Ukrainian port city of Mykolaiv on the Black Sea as President Vladimir Putin signed a new naval doctrine that labeled the United States as Russia’s main rival and pinned down naval ambitions in the Black Sea and the Arctic.

Putin did not mention the conflict in Ukraine during a speech on Navy Day, but said the navy would receive hypersonic zircon cruise missiles in the coming months. The missiles can travel at nine times the speed of sound and evade air defenses. read more

Naval Day celebrations in the port of Sevastopol were disrupted when five Russian naval personnel were injured in an explosion after a suspected drone flew into the courtyard of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, the governor of the Crimean port city, Mikhail Razvozhayev, told reporters. Russian media.

Reuters could not independently verify the battlefield reports.

Mykolaiv mayor Oleksandr Senkevych said more than 12 rocket attacks on Sunday, probably the most powerful on the city in five months of war, hit homes and schools, confirming two deaths and three injuries. Rocket attacks continued until Sunday evening.

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

Its headquarters are in Mykolaiv, a strategically important city bordering the largely Russian-occupied Kherson region. Nibulon specializes in the production and export of wheat, barley and maize, 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 β€” one of Ukraine’s richest with Forbes estimating his 2021 net worth at $430 million β€” had built a modern grain market with a network of terminals and elevators.

“It is these people, these companies, in the very south of Ukraine, who have guaranteed the food security of the world,” Zelenskiy said in his overnight speech. β€œIt was always like this. And it will be again.’

Zelenskiy said Ukraine may only harvest half its usual amount this year due to agricultural disruption caused by the biggest conflict in Europe since World War II. Farmers have reported trying to harvest in between Russian shelling of their fields.

EASTERN DANGER

After failing to quickly capture the capital Kiev early in the war, Russia has shifted its focus to eastern and southern Ukraine.

Zelenskiy said Russia has transferred some troops from the eastern Donbas region to the southern regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.

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

It said Russia was likely adjusting the operational design of its Donbas offensive and it had likely identified its Zaporizhzhya front as vulnerable and in need of reinforcement.

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

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Reporting by Reuters agencies; Written by Michael Perry; Editing by Robert Birsel

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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