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War in Ukraine: Recent Developments

#War #Ukraine #Developments

Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:

– First shipment of grain leaves Odessa –

The first shipment of Ukrainian grain since Russia’s February 24 invasion is leaving the port of Odessa under a UN-Turkey-brokered deal to lift Moscow’s naval blockade of the Black Sea.

Officials say the Sierra Leone-registered Razoni cargo ship is making its way to Lebanon through a specially cleared corridor in the heavily mined waters of the Black Sea with 26,000 tons of corn on board.

UN chief Antonio Guterres says he hopes “this will bring much-needed stability and relief to global food security, especially in the most fragile humanitarian contexts,” while Kyiv reiterates it will bring “relief to the world” when Moscow its side of the match.

Ukraine is one of the largest grain exporters in the world. The five-month blockade of its ports by Russian forces has fueled food prices, hitting the world’s poorest countries particularly hard.

– Grain transport “first step”: EU, NATO –

The European Union and NATO welcome the departure of grain shipments as a “first step” to alleviate the food crisis.

However, EU spokesman Peter Stano warns that the bloc is still awaiting “the implementation of the whole agreement and the resumption of Ukrainian exports to customers around the world”.

He points out that the day after the landmark deal was signed in Istanbul in late July, Russia fired missiles at the port of Odessa.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Western allies “strongly support full implementation of the deal to alleviate the global food crisis caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov describes the delivery in Moscow as “very positive”.

– Ukraine is gaining ground in Kherson –

Ukrainian forces have retaken 46 settlements in the key southern Kherson region as Kyiv tries to retake Russian-held territory, local governor Dmytro Butriy told national television.

In the first days of its invasion, Moscow captured almost the entire territory of the economically and strategically important region bordering the annexed Crimean peninsula.

But in recent weeks the Ukrainian army, reinforced by shipments of Western long-range artillery, has attempted to stage a counteroffensive in the region.

In late July, a Ukrainian official promised that the Kherson region would be recaptured by Kiev’s forces by September.

The governor of nearby Mykolayiv, meanwhile, said three people in the city were injured in “massive” Russian shelling in the night that damaged homes and humanitarian supplies.

In the east, which was the main focus of the Russian attack, Donetsk Industrial Region head Pavlo Kyrylenko says Russian shelling has killed three people in the past 24 hours.

– Russia blacklists more Brits –

Russia says it is blacklisting 39 British citizens, including leader of the main opposition Labor Party, Keir Starmer, and former Prime Minister David Cameron.

The Foreign Office in Moscow says the listed British citizens, who include journalists, “contribute to London’s hostile course aimed at demonizing our country and isolating it internationally”.

Russia had already blacklisted Prime Minister Boris Johnson and several members of his cabinet, as well as scores of British MPs, defense officials and journalists.

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