Ukraine update: Grain shipments continue without Russia’s cooperation; 80% of Kyiv without power following strikes

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News

 

An elderly Ukrainian woman was killed when a Russian missile slammed into her apartment building – one of four strikes reported by Ukrainian officials in the southern Ukrainian port city of Mykolaiv overnight, Reuters reported

“This is what the barbarian horde does,” said resident Irena Siden as she watched workers sifting through the rubble of the school where she worked as deputy director that had been decimated in the attack.

“They [the Russians] are the descendants of the barbarian horde. They stole our history and how they are trying to steal our culture,” she said.

The Mykolaiv attacks followed a barrage of Russian air and drone strikes on multiple cities throughout Ukraine yesterday. The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces reported that Russian forces shelled infrastructure in at least six regions. Attacks on Kyiv injured 13 people and left 80% of residents without running water. 

The governor of the Kharkiv region in the northeast, Oleh Synehubov, reported that around 140,000 residents were without power after attacks there.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a news conference that the strikes were made in retaliation for a purported drone attack on Moscow’s Black Sea fleet in Crimea which he blamed on Ukraine, though Russin forces have relentlessly pounded civilian and infrastructure targets for weeks now. 

“That’s not all we could have done,” the Kremlin leader added. 

Kyiv has not claimed responsibility for the alleged drone strike.

Moscow warns continued grain shipments ‘risky’ for Ukraine

Russia also cited the drone strike in its announcement this weekend that it would pull out of a deal entered into with the U.N., Ukraine, and Turkey in July to end a months-long blockade that held up grain exports, renewing previous fears of a global food crisis. Russia and Ukraine are the world’s two leading suppliers of food and agricultural products.

Despite the Kremlin’s pullout from the agreement, Ukraine managed to ship a massive volume of grain from its ports Monday via 12 vessels, with another three departing on Tuesday.

Amir Abdulla, the U.N. Coordinator for the Black Sea Grain Initiative, said in a statement that he “continues his discussions with all three member state parties in an effort to resume full participation at the JCC.” 

Moscow warned that continued shipments would be “risky” for Kyiv. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, however, said his country will continue implementing the program, regardless of what Moscow says or does.

“We understand what we offer the world. We offer stability on the food production market,” Zelenskyy told a news conference. He has accused Russia of “blackmailing the world with hunger.”

News that Moscow was pulling out of the deal had sent global wheat prices soaring by more than 5% on Monday morning, according to Reuters.

Russians still fear draft

Russia announced this weekend that its conscription campaign had ended, but President Putin still has not formally declared an end to the draft, leaving many wary.

The Kremlin said its goal of recruiting 300,000 reservists had been met and that no more are required.  It added that Putin’s formal approval to end the mobilization is not necessary. Tens of thousands of Russian men fled the country to avoid the draft while thousands protesting the conscription were detained.

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