Russia hit Ukraine’s biggest terminals after pulling out of the grain deal

The attack on southern Ukraine by the Russian army on Wednesday evening, which according to the Odessa authorities became the strongest since the start of the war, destroyed large grain terminals on the Black Sea coast.

As a result of an attack that used Onyx missiles, The X-59, X-22 and dozens of Iranian Shahed-136 drones disabled a significant part of the export infrastructure of the port of Chornomorsk, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy of Ukraine reported. The port also destroyed 60,000 tons of Ukrainian grain, which was planned to be transported through the “corridor” on the Black Sea during its operation.

The attack, which the Russian Defense Ministry called “retaliation” for undermining the Crimean bridge, also affected Odessa’s terminals and port infrastructure. Among the hardest hit were the facilities of international and Ukrainian traders Kernel, Viterra and CMA CGM Group, writes UNIAN. According to the estimates of the Ministry of Agricultural Policy of Ukraine, their rapid reconstruction is impossible: the work will take at least a year.

During the strikes in the Odessa region, Russian troops “deliberately targeted the infrastructure of the grain contract,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, adding that he ordered the military to strengthen the protection of port infrastructure, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to intensify contacts with partners to find ways to further export grain.

Russia announced on July 17 that it was terminating an agreement under which 33 million tons of food were exported to world markets. Russia’s Foreign Ministry warned that it was revoking its safe shipping guarantees, and the Kremlin, on behalf of President Dmitry Peskov’s press secretary, threatened a “military risk” if the grain was exported without Moscow’s approval.

Zelensky responded by ordering the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to propose to the UN and Turkey the resumption of work on the “grain corridor”. But the issue of safety guarantees for grain carriers has not yet been resolved. Turkey, one of the guarantors of the deal with Russia, does not want to combine its fleet with escort ships exporting grain and considers such a move risky, a source familiar with the situation told Bloomberg. The United States also refused to provide military escorts for ships leaving Ukrainian ports.


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