There are six moreDepend on Authorization to leave the country’s Black Sea coast was granted on Sunday, as analysts warned that Russia was moving troops and equipment toward the southern port city to thwart a Ukrainian counteroffensive.
Ukraine and Russia have also accused each other of shelling Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.
Ships loaded with cargo have been allowed to leave Chernomorsk and Odessa, according to the Joint Coordination Center, which oversees an international agreement to ship some 20 million tons of grain from Ukraine to feed countries in Africa, the Middle East. and millions of people who are starving in some regions. Asia.
Third-generation farmer Yurri Yalovchuk told CBS News that 1,000 tons of his barley harvest should have been shipped in the spring. It is no longer fit for human consumption and becomes chicken feed.
Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations signed an agreement last month to create a 111-nautical-mile maritime corridor that would allow cargo ships to safely sail out of ports blocked by the Russian military and through waters mined by the Ukrainian military. Implementation of the agreement has been slow for four months since the first vessel set sail on August 1.
The four ships cleared to leave Ukraine on Sunday carried more than 219,000 tonnes of corn. The fifth vessel was carrying more than 6,600 tonnes of sunflower oil and the sixth vessel was carrying 11,000 tonnes of soybeans, the Joint Coordination Center said.
Three other cargo ships that left on Friday passed inspections and were granted clearance on Sunday to travel through Turkey’s Bosphorus to their final destination, the center said.
However, the first ship of the grain export deal, which left Ukraine with great fanfare last week, was delayed in arriving in Lebanon on Sunday, according to Lebanese cabinet ministers and the Ukrainian embassy. The reason for the delay is unclear.
Ukrainian officials were initially skeptical of the grain export deal, citing suspicions that Moscow would try to use shipping activities to bring large-scale troops offshore or launch long-range missiles from the Black Sea, as it has done many times during the war.
The agreements require ships to leave Ukraine under military escort and be checked to ensure they are only carrying grain, fertilizer or food, and not any other commodities. Check incoming cargo ships to make sure they are not carrying weapons.
In an analysis over the weekend, the British Ministry of Defence said the Russian invasion, which began on February 24, was “about to enter a new phase”, with fighting moving to a front line stretching around 350 kilometers (217 miles) from near the city from Zaporo Hot to Russian-occupied Kherson.
The area includes the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, which was attacked Saturday night. Both sides blamed the other for the attack.
Ukrainian nuclear power plant operator Energoatom said three radiation monitors around a spent nuclear fuel storage facility were damaged by Russian shelling and a worker was injured. The Ukrainian army fired the shells, Russian news agencies quoted the plant’s separatist administration as saying.
Russian troops have occupied the power station for several months. Russian soldiers took refuge in bunkers ahead of Saturday’s attack, according to Energoatom.
Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, recently warned that the way the plant operates and the battle surrounding it poses a serious health and environmental threat.
In the last four months of the war, Russia has focused on occupying the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, where pro-Moscow separatists have taken control of some territory, proclaiming itself a republic for eight years. Russian forces have made gradual inroads in the region, while launching missile and rocket attacks to limit the movement of Ukrainian fighters elsewhere.
According to the Institute for War Studies, a Washington-based think tank, the Russians “continue to accumulate large amounts of military equipment in the Russian-controlled town of Kherson across the Dnieper River”. The reports, citing local Ukrainian officials, said the preparations appeared to be aimed at defending logistics routes to the city and establishing defensive positions on the left bank of the river.
Kherson was under Russian control early in the war, and Ukrainian officials have vowed to retake it. It’s just 227 kilometers (141 miles) from Odessa, home to Ukraine’s largest port, so escalating conflict there could have an impact on international food trade.
The city of Mykolaiv, the shipbuilding center that Russian troops bomb every day, is closer to Odessa. An industrial facility on the outskirts of the region’s capital was attacked early on Sunday, Mykolaiv regional governor Vitaliy Kim said.
Five civilians were killed in the past day after Russia and separatists fired on cities in the Donetsk region, which remains under Ukrainian control, according to the region’s governor, Sheryl Hayday.
He and Ukrainian government officials have repeatedly urged civilians to evacuate.
Andrew Wilks contributed reporting from Istanbul.