A ship full of Ukrainian corn is sailing for inspection in Turkish waters on Tuesday for the first time as required by law. a recent grain deal opened Ukrainian ports for exports after five months of a wartime blockade by Russia.
If the voyage goes smoothly and the ship reaches its delivery point – the Port of Tripoli in Lebanon – it will be an important step in restoring grain flows from Ukraine, one of the breadth of the country. world before the war. That will help alleviate grain shortages and lower prices worldwide, although it cannot solve it alone. causes of the current global hunger crisisincluding conflict elsewhere and climate disruption.
But the grain deal, which took months to negotiate, could easily unravel. The ship, the Razoni, was passing through a war zone, there was a risk of attack or accident, and there was a breach of trust or disagreement between inspectors and officials of the four parties to the agreement – Ukraine, Russia, United Nations and Turkey – once again it is possible to freeze ships in ports.
And even as Razoni’s Black Sea crossing raised hopes of some degree of cooperation between the warring parties, fighting intensified on multiple fronts in Ukraine.
Prepare for a counterattack in southern KhersonUkraine used long-range precision weapons, recently supplied by the West, to disrupt Russia’s supply and logistics lines. Ukrainian forces have been attacking Russian command and control centers, hitting supply routes, trying to isolate Russian forces into pockets and enlisting Ukrainian saboteurs behind enemy lines. enemy.
On Monday, Ukrainian officials said, using US-supplied rocket artillery, their forces blew up a convoy carrying Russian troops and equipment to reinforcements to positions in the south. Ukraine, killing dozens of soldiers and destroying many carriages.
“According to intelligence data, all the drivers and engineers of the Russian Railways company, who were transporting military goods from Crimea to the Kherson region, were killed,” said Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to the ministry. Interior, said.
Although his claims could not be independently verified, video of an explosion and satellite images of the aftermath provide evidence that Ukrainians rammed a Russian train along one of Two main railway lines run from Crimea to southern Ukraine.
Ukraine’s military also said that in recent weeks it had destroyed at least 15 ammunition depots in the south, affecting enough supplies to force Russia to use surface-to-air missiles to attack surface targets. soil.
The Pentagon said last week that Ukraine has use western weapons to increase efficiency. On Monday, the Biden administration announced another round of assistance to Ukraine: $550 million worth of military aid, including additional ammunition for 155 mm howitzers and High Mobility Missile Systems , or HIMARS, which the United States has provided.
But for all the slow or faltering progress in the war, Russia retains a huge advantage in terms of the size of its arsenal, and it is now pursuing a strategy that would allow the conquest of Luhansk province. in the east, obliterating towns with overwhelming artillery fire and finding a way to reposition ground forces to press forward.
Serhiy Haidai, the head of Ukraine’s Luhansk regional government, said on Monday that the Russians are making daily efforts to organize an attack on the city of Bakhmut, in Donetsk, but so far have not been able to break it. Breaking Ukraine’s main defenses.
Russian forces also continued to attack residential and military areas in and around the northeastern city of Kharkiv, pressuring Ukraine not to shift too many defenses away from it.
Chuhuiv, in the Kharkiv region and only 10 miles from the Russian lines, has come under increasing bombardment in recent days, as has the city of Kharkiv and other villages and towns in the province.