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Russia strikes Ukrainian ports and pulls out of grain export deal


Tensions escalate between Russia and Ukraine as Russia launches attacks on Ukrainian ports and withdraws from a U.N.-backed grain export deal. Moscow’s actions have raised concerns about the potential for a global food crisis and signify a shift in the conflict dynamics. provides an update on the latest developments in the ongoing crisis.

In retaliation for attacks by Ukraine that damaged its road bridge to the occupied Crimean Peninsula, Russia targeted fuel storage in Odesa and a plant manufacturing seaborne drones. Falling debris and blast waves caused damage to homes and port infrastructure in the strategic port city of Odesa, while Mykolaiv experienced a serious fire, according to local authorities.

The attacks on Ukrainian ports provide further evidence of Russia’s disregard for the lives of millions of people who depend on Ukrainian food exports, stated Andriy Yermak, the head of Ukraine’s presidential staff. Ukraine’s air force claimed to have successfully intercepted six Kalibr missiles and 31 out of 36 drones launched by Russia.

As the counteroffensive enters its sixth week, Russia is mounting a ground offensive in the northeast. Russia’s defense ministry announced that its forces had advanced 2 km (1.2 miles) near Kupiansk, a frontline railway hub previously recaptured by Ukraine in an offensive last year. However, the situation remains complex, and independent verification is currently unavailable.

Of significant concern is Russia’s withdrawal from the year-old U.N.-brokered grain export deal, which played a crucial role in lifting the de facto Russian blockade on Ukrainian ports and preventing a global food emergency. The move has raised fears of soaring food prices worldwide, with the poorest nations being the hardest hit.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned Russia’s decision, highlighting the devastating impact it could have on people in need around the world. Despite calls from Ukraine to resume shipping without Russian participation, Moscow rejected the proposal, citing security risks for ships entering the area without its guarantees.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has called for the grain deal to continue without Russia’s involvement, seeking Turkey’s support to bypass the Russian blockade. Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan, who sponsored the deal, expressed optimism that Moscow could be persuaded to reconsider.

The situation remains fluid, with Russia making territorial gains and Ukraine pushing for a slow and strategic counteroffensive. As the conflict intensifies, will continue to provide comprehensive coverage and analysis, keeping readers informed about the evolving dynamics and their potential global implications.

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