Ukrainian officials and the Turkish Ministry of Defense confirmed three ships loaded with grain left Ukraine’s Black Sea ports loaded with over 57,000 tons of corn, mostly used for animal feed.
Kyiv said two of the ships, the Maltese-flagged “Rojen” and the Turkish “Polarnet”, carrying maize departed from Chornomorsk, and the Panama-flagged “Navi-Star” left from Odessa.
“Our main goal is to increase the trans-shipment volume in our ports. We have to process 100 carriers per month to be able to export the necessary amount of foodstuffs,” Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said.
Shipments of grain from Ukraine’s ports has restarted following a deal made last month between Russia and Ukraine that was mediated by Turkey under UN auspices.
Already-high food prices have remained at unusual levels for months now amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with both Russia and Ukraine among the world’s leading exporters.
Earlier in the week, a ship left Ukraine’s port loaded with grain for the first time since February 24, when the war began. Twenty million tons of grain remain trapped in ports and storage silos in Ukraine due to the conflict.
Russia endangering safety and security of Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant
In its daily briefing about the war, British intelligence said actions by Russian forces at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, Europe’s largest, are endangering the safety and security of the facility.
Russia has likely deployed artillery in areas adjacent to the plant to target areas on the opposite side of the Dnieper River. They are likely using the plant, which they seized in March, as a nuclear shield.
Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), described the situation in precarious terms during a non-proliferation conference in New York this week.
“All principles of nuclear safety have been violated in one way or another,” Grossi said.
Located in the city of Enerhodar, Zaporizhzhia has six reactors and generates more than one fifth of Ukraine’s national electricity needs when able to operate as normal.
Ukraine says Russia has launched major Donetsk offensive
Ukraine said Russian troops have launched a significant offensive in Donetsk.
Ukraine’s defensive line stretches from the towns of Soledar and Bakhmut, which the Russians are trying to capture to extend their control in Donetsk.
Prior to the war, half a million people resided in this area, which is now heavily militarized.
Ukraine’s General Staff said fighting near Bakhmut has been inconclusive.
Fighting has also continued near Avdiivka.
ar/msh (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)