Ukraine war: Russia strikes Ukraine grain after ending sea deal

Russian missile attacks on Ukraine’s Black Sea coast have resulted in the destruction of 60,000 tonnes of grain and damage to storage infrastructure. Agriculture Minister Mykola Solskyi reported that a significant amount of export infrastructure was affected. Russia withdrew from a grain deal that guaranteed safe passage for exports across the Black Sea. President Putin accused the West of using the grain deal as “political blackmail” and stated that Russia might rejoin the agreement if certain conditions were met. Russia’s defense ministry declared that any ships heading to Ukrainian ports would be considered potential carriers of military cargo and subject to conflict-related actions.

The attacks targeted Ukrainian ports in Odesa and Chornomorsk, injuring civilians and damaging civilian and military structures. President Zelensky condemned the strikes, emphasizing their impact on global security and normalcy. France and Germany also condemned the attacks, with Germany’s Foreign Minister stating that Putin was depriving the world of Ukrainian grain and harming the world’s poorest. Russian commentators asserted that Ukraine was unable to intercept the majority of Russian missiles and drones.

The coordinated attack utilized various missile types and drones fired from different locations, with some managing to breach Ukrainian defenses. Russia cited the initial attack on Odesa as “mass revenge” for an earlier attack on the Kerch Strait bridge, which links occupied Crimea to Russia.

In Crimea, a fire near a military training range triggered explosions at an ammunition depot, leading to the evacuation of 2,200 residents from nearby villages. Russian-installed officials also shut down a section of the Tavrida motorway linking Simferopol and Sevastopol to the bridge over the Kerch Strait due to the explosions. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, and no casualties were reported.

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