NAfter arriving in Istanbul, the first cargo ship loaded with Ukrainian grain since the start of Russia’s war of aggression is due to be inspected this Wednesday before continuing its voyage to Lebanon. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hopes that the first grain export will be followed by more: “Our goal is for there to be regularity.”
According to the Kiev military, Russian planes fired eight rockets at Ukraine over the Caspian Sea on Tuesday evening. Seven of them were intercepted. However, there was one hit in a military facility on the border with NATO country Poland. Wednesday is the 161st day of Ukraine’s defense against the Russian invasion.
First Ukrainian grain export under review
The “Razoni”, loaded with around 26,000 tons of corn from Ukraine, entered the Bosphorus Strait, which runs through Istanbul, from the Black Sea on Tuesday evening. The freighter dropped anchor there shortly after 9 p.m. local time. On Monday it was the first ship to leave the Ukrainian port of Odessa since the beginning of the war. According to the Turkish Defense Ministry, representatives of Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations will go on board for the inspection on Wednesday morning.
War opponents Ukraine and Russia signed an agreement separately with Turkey on July 22, through UN mediation, to allow grain exports from Ukraine from three ports. A coordination center in Istanbul is staffed by representatives of the four parties. Among other things, the inspections are intended to ensure that ships do not have any weapons loaded.
The destination of the “Razoni”, which sails under the flag of the West African state of Sierra Leone, is the Lebanese port of Tripoli. With the deliveries from the Ukraine, millions of tons of grain should once again be available for the world market. Zelenskyy said Ukrainian agriculture had to earn enough from exports to be able to ensure sowing next spring.
Zelenskyi: Battlefields in Donbass are ‘just hell’
The Ukrainian army needs more weapons to defeat the Russian superiority in the Donbass, Zelenskyy said in his video address. He thanked the US for continuing to provide military aid. His army could inflict casualties on the attackers with Himar’s multiple rocket launchers. Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov confirmed on Tuesday the arrival of four more Himars units from the US and the German Mars multiple rocket launcher.
“In fact, we still cannot completely break the advantage of the Russian army in terms of artillery and manpower,” said Zelenskyy. This was felt in the battles for Avdiivka, Pisky and other places. “It’s just hell.”
In western Ukraine on the border with Poland, a Russian missile hit a military facility in the Chervonohrad district on Tuesday evening, according to the administration of the Lviv (Lemberg) region. Explosions were also reported from the city of Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine.