Day 249 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Russia out of the Grain Deal after their Ships were Hit in the Black Sea
Here are the highlights of events related to the war in Ukraine over the past 24 hours:
Kyiv wants international pressure on Russia over the "Hunger Games"
“Suspension of Russia's participation in the Ukrainian grain export agreement requires a firm international response from the UN and the G20”, said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
President Zelensky expressed the opinion that the Russian decision was not made now, but already in September:
"Russia then began to deliberately exacerbate the food crisis by blocking the movement of ships with our products. Since September, 176 vessels have already gathered in the grain export corridor and cannot continue on their route. This is the absolutely transparent intention of Russia to bring back the threat of large-scale famine in Africa and Asia".
Russia announced its withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative, accusing Kyiv of a terrorist attack on Black Sea Fleet ships and civilian vessels in the port city of Sevastopol. The initiative, under the auspices of the United Nations and brokered by Turkey, provided a corridor for the export of agricultural products from Ukraine through the Black Sea. According to a Turkish source, Ankara was not officially notified of the decision.
US President Joe Biden did not hide his indignation. The White House has argued that Moscow's withdrawal from the agreement turns food into a weapon, a move that will directly affect peoples in need as well as food prices around the world.
The chairman of the Russian Union of Grain Exporters, Eduard Zernin, said that companies in this sector are ready to fulfill their humanitarian mission and supply countries in need, despite the sanctions.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba commented that Moscow is promising other countries for the next four months 500,000 tons of grain, probably stolen from Ukraine. He urged international pressure to end the "Hunger Games".
The Ukrainian army attacked Russian ships near Sevastopol. Among those hit is the frigate "Admiral Makarov"
Ukrainian armed forces attacked Russian warships in Sevastopol Bay with aerial and naval drones yesterday. Adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky - Anton Gerashchenko, announced that four ships, including the frigate "Admiral Makarov", had exploded. Gerashchenko called the information about the exploded frigate "unconfirmed".
Ukrainian journalist Andriy Tsaplienko also wrote about the "death" of the frigate.
The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed the attack. According to the data of the Russian military, the minesweeper "Ivan Golubets" received minor damages. The ministry said in a statement that the ships were attacked by nine flying and seven sea-based drones.
The Russian military also claims that the preparation of this "terrorist attack" was led by British specialists in Ochakov, Mykolaiv region. "Representatives of this unit of the British Navy," according to the Russian Defense Ministry, also blew up gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea.
Russian "military correspondent," Vladimir Romanov wrote that the frigate's radar system was damaged and a "hole" had formed in the minesweeper. He published photos and video of the fire in Sevastopol Bay.
The governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozzhaev, pointed out that the attack on Sevastopol was the largest since the beginning of the war. He has threatened to punish people who post videos of the aftermath of the strikes - which he claims could be used to detect air defense systems.
The Russian military can launch Kalibr cruise missiles from the Admiral Makarov frigate. It is probably from this ship that the rockets that hit Vinnytsia on July 14 were fired. Then 27 people were killed.
General-Colonel Lapin, criticized by Kadyrov, has been removed as commander of Russian forces in Ukraine
The commander of the "Center" group of the Russian armed forces in Ukraine, Colonel-General Alexander Lapin, has been removed from his post, a number of media reports. The information has yet to be officially confirmed.
Lapin's removal was initially reported by Russian "military correspondents" and several Telegram channels. Later, the publications RBC and Moscow Times, citing their sources, as well as the Chechen state television and radio company Grozny, confirmed the news. Citing the media in question, the BBC also uploaded the information to its website.
Lapin came under sharp criticism from Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov. In early October, Kadyrov accused the general of abandoning Lyman and called him "mediocre." According to Kadyrov, Lapin, who was responsible for this part of the defense, did not provide the necessary funds for the mobilized fighters from the Luhansk region. Instead you sat in Lugansk.
Two days ago, Kadyrov assigned the colonel-general to be in charge of the defense of the area in the northern part of the Donetsk region, where a breakthrough was recently made by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The Chechen leader also questions Lapin's award of the title "Hero of Russia" for the capture of Lysychansk, "in which he did not even participate.
During the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Lapin is also remembered for rewarding his own son, who led the failed offensive in the Ukrainian cities of Sumy and Chernihiv. This happened in March, when the general presented his son Denis Lapin, commander of the 1st Guards Tank Regiment, with a state award for courage and bravery.
Lapin, 58, has commanded the Central Military District (CMD) since 2017, and from October 2018 to January 2019 he commanded a group of soldiers in Syria. In 2019, Lapin was promoted to the rank of colonel general.
On July 4, Russian President Vladimir Putin awarded Lapin the title "Hero of Russia" for his participation in the capture of Luhansk region in Ukraine.
At the end of March, the TV channel "Zvezda" of the Russian Ministry of Defense showed a report about how "right on the front line" soldiers who "showed courage and heroism" were awarded in the Chernihiv region at the time when the Russian army was retreating from the Chernihiv and Kyiv directions.
Zelensky: Electricity supply in Ukraine is being restored after the Russian attacks
“Ukraine's electricity supply is being restored after coordinated Russian attacks on power plants, but an emergency blackout may still be necessary”, said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky last night, as quoted by Reuters.
In recent weeks, Russia has focused its drone and missile attacks on energy facilities across the country, knocking out more than 30 percent of production capacity, forcing widespread restrictions.
"Today there are already significantly fewer stabilization (measures) and emergency power outages... but restrictions are still possible in some cities and regions," Zelensky said in a video address. He also accused Russia of targeting plants under repair and said several technicians had been killed.
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