A grain terminal in a seaport of Odessa
The three Ukrainian ports designated for grain exports resumed operation on Wednesday, while the kyiv army partly destroyed a bridge of Odessa; strategic importance in the southern region of Kherson occupied by the Russians and which the army of kyiv seeks to retake.
The Ukrainian government expects the first shipments to leave Black Sea ports this week where they have been stuck since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24, amid soaring oil prices. foodstuffs around the world.
Again in application of the agreements signed for four months on July 22 in Istanbul, the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) in charge of controlling the transport via the Black Sea of Ukrainian grain was officially inaugurated the same day in this Turkish metropolis.
Another consequence of the Russian offensive, the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany is now no longer in service, as planned, only& #x27;at about a fifth of its capacity, increasing the risk of shortages this winter in Europe.
“The ports of Odessa, Chornomorsk and Yuzhny [Pivdenny, editor's note] have resumed work […] The exit and entry of ships into seaports will be carried out by the formation of ;a convoy that will accompany the lead ship, she continued. »
— The Ukrainian Navy
kyiv and Moscow reached an agreement in Istanbul, mediated by Turkey and under the aegis of the #x27;UN, to allow the delivery abroad of some 25 million tonnes of grain stuck in Ukrainian ports.
Ukrainian officials, however, have repeatedly said they do not trust Moscow to ensure the security of convoys and recall the Russian missile fire on Saturday at the port of Odessa.
The Kremlin for its part said it sees no obstacles to the resumption of exports, also hampered by the presence of sea mines laid by Ukrainian forces to guard against a Russian amphibious assault.
Demining will only take place in the corridor necessary for exports, the government stressed in kyiv.
Trucks laden with cereals line up near Izmail, in the Odessa region, on June 14.
Located in the suburbs of Kherson, the Antonovski bridge, key for supplies, because it is the only one to connect this city to the southern bank of the Dnieper, was partially disabled on Wednesday by a Ukrainian attack.
Those who fired on the bridge just made life a little more difficult for the population, nevertheless relativized Kirill Stremoussov, a senior representative of the Russian occupation authorities.
It will have no influence on the outcome of the fights, he added, without specifying the extent of the damage.
Occupants must learn to swim to cross the Dnieper. Or leave Kherson while they can, tweeted Mikhailo Podoliak, an adviser to the Ukrainian presidency.
This city is located just a few kilometers from the southern front where the Ukrainian forces launched a counter-offensive in order to regain these territories lost in the very first days of the Russian assault on Ukraine.
Essential for Ukrainian agriculture, the region is also strategic, as it borders the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Moscow in 2014.
In the east of the x27;Ukraine, the Donbass was at the same time the scene of intense fighting.
AFP journalists in Bakhmout, one of the last major localities of this mining basin to remain under Ukrainian control, heard sporadic artillery fire and saw a house hit by a Russian shell.
I was in the barn and was about to go out. I heard a hiss. And I don't remember anything. It exploded and I was thrown into the barn by the blast, Roman, 51, told AFP.
In the context of the energy tussle between Moscow and the West since the start of the conflict, the arrival of gas from Russia in Germany since 9 a.m. (local time) Wednesday of some 14.4 gigawatt hours (GWh) , against nearly 29 GWh on average in recent days, lamented the German operator Gascade, which manages the network on German territory.
The supply of the #x27;Germany – particularly dependent on Russian gas – but also other European countries via this pipe installed at the bottom of the Baltic Sea had already been reduced to 40% of normal in mid-June, before a complete shutdown for annual maintenance between July 11 and July 21.
The Italian group ENI also announced that it had been informed by the Russian giant Gazprom that deliveries would be limited to 27 million m3 on Wednesday, against 34 million in recent days.
Monday, Gazprom had said it would further halve its daily deliveries via Nord Stream, citing a maintenance operation on a turbine.
A Kremlin spokesman claimed on Tuesday that the reduction in flow was explained by Western sanctions against Russia.
But the Europeans accuse Moscow of using the gas as a x27;economic and political weapon.
In an attempt to avoid shortages this winter, the 27 EU states agreed on Tuesday on a plan providing that each of them do everything possible to reduce, between August 2022 and March 2023, its gas consumption by at least 15% compared to the average of the last five s years over the same period.