A first boat loaded with thousands of tons of corn leaves the port of Odessa | War in Ukraine

A first boat loaded with thousands of tons of corn leaves the port of Odessa | War in Ukraine

The M/V Razoni leaves the port of Odessa, loaded with 26,000 tons of corn, on August 1 2022.

Ukraine resumed grain exports on Monday for the first time since the start of the Russian invasion six months ago, with the departure of a first boat from the port of Odessa in accordance with the terms of an international agreement which should make it possible to alleviate the world food crisis.

The ship Razoni left the port of Odessa bound for the port of Tripoli in Lebanon. He is expected on August 2 in Istanbul. It will continue on its way to its destination following inspections to be carried out in Istanbul, the Turkish Ministry of Defense announced.

According to Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandre Kubrakov, the boat is loaded with 26,000 tons of corn.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warmly welcomed the departure of this first ship, expressing hope that the resumption of Ukrainian grain exports will bring stability and peace. ;aid essential for global food security.

Head of Ukrainian diplomacy Dmytro Kouleba spoke of a day of relief for the world, especially for our friends in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. According to him, 16 other boats loaded with grain are waiting their turn to leave Odessa, in southern Ukraine.

The agreement signed on July 22 in Istanbul between Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations allow the resumption of Ukrainian exports under international supervision.

A similar agreement signed simultaneously guarantees Moscow the export of its agricultural products and fertilizers, despite Western sanctions.

These two agreements should help alleviate a global food crisis that has seen prices soar in some of the world's poorest countries as Ukrainian ports are blocked by the conflict with Russia.

According to the terms of the agreement, the vessels and their cargo are to be inspected in Istanbul, under the authority of the Joint Coordination Center (JCC ), inaugurated last Wednesday.

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On the ground, Russian strikes continue on Ukrainian cities, including Mykolaiv in the south, where one of the country's most prominent agricultural entrepreneurs, 74-year-old Oleksiy Vadatursky, was killed along with his wife on Sunday.

President Volodymyr Zelensky paid tribute to Oleksiy Vadatursky, whom he called a hero of Ukraine.

The city was heavily shelled again on Monday, according to regional governor Vitali Kim, who reported three people killed.

Mykolaiv is close to the front in southern ;Ukraine, where Kyiv forces are conducting a counter-offensive.

AFP journalists also saw intense Russian shelling of the town of Bakhmout in eastern Ukraine. Three civilians were killed in the Donetsk region on Sunday, including two in Bakhmout, and 16 others injured, local authorities said on Monday. to practice terror tactics by their shelling of Ukrainian cities, and called on the people of Donetsk for a general evacuation.

At least 200,000 civilians still live in the territories of the region of Donetsk which are not under Russian occupation, according to an estimate of the Ukrainian authorities.

In Sevastopol, a port city that had continued to house the Russian Black Sea Fleet after the Soviet Union ended under an agreement with kyiv, but was formally annexed by Moscow with rest of Crimea in 2014, a drone exploded in the courtyard of the Russian Fleet General Staff on Sunday, injuring six, according to Governor Mikhail Razvojayev.

Pointed out by the governor, the Ukrainian authorities have denied being behind this unprecedented attack. The Ukrainian Navy has speculated a pretext to cancel planned festivities in Sevastopol for fear of a real attack.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, celebrated Russian Fleet Day away from Sevastopol, in Saint Petersburg (northwest), with a speech promising the arrival in the coming months of a new hypersonic cruise missile that knows no no obstacles.

Separately, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Sunday it had still not received official permission from Moscow to travel to Olenivka, Russian-occupied territory in the Donetsk region. , where an explosion in a hangar housing captured Ukrainian soldiers left 50 dead and 73 seriously injured.

On Saturday evening, the Russian Ministry of Defense claimed to have officially invited experts from the UN and the ICRC to go there in the interest of an objective investigation.

Ukraine had on Friday asked the ICRC and to the United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission, which in May oversaw the negotiated surrender with the Russians of the defenders of the Azovstal factory in Mariupol (southeast), to go to Olenivka. President Zelensky had stressed that the UN and the ICRC had guaranteed the lives of Ukrainian soldiers and had to react.

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