Russian invaders are attempting to leverage occupied Ukrainian port cities on the coast of Sea of Azov to export stolen Ukrainian grain abroad, Ukraine’s General Staff said in a Facebook on July 16.
At least three Russian ships, capable of launching long-range Kalibr cruise missiles remain deployed in the Black Sea, threatening the entire territory of Ukraine.
At least 11 villages in southern Ukraine were shelled by Russian forces in the last 24 hours, according to the message.
Russia is blockading Ukrainian Black Sea ports, and consistently attacks rail infrastructure, preventing Ukraine from exporting its crops abroad.
UN data suggests that 25 million tons of grain are stuck in Ukrainian silos and ports, jeopardizing food security in Asia and Africa.
The Kremlin seeks to induce food shortages in north African countries, hoping that the corresponding migration wave will put pressure on the EU. Russian officials offered to lift the blockade of Ukraine’s ports, in exchange for an end to Western sanctions on Russia.
At least 500,000 tons of grain was stolen by Russia from occupied Ukrainian territories, according to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Multilateral Ukraine-Russia-UN-Turkey talks are underway in Istanbul, where the parties discuss ways to come to an arrangement as to how Kyiv might be enabled to resume maritime exports.