Ukrainian ships and attacks defy Russian threats

Despite Russian threats, two Ukrainian cargo ships have left Ukraine while in the Black Sea, maritime officials said, and Russia has blocked a wartime agreement that was intended to ensure safe grain exports from Ukraine. The ships had been anchored in Ukraine’s Black Sea ports since before Russia’s full-scale invasion of its neighbour.

On the other hand, Russia said its forces destroyed three Ukrainian naval drones that were being used in an attempt to attack a major bridge linking Russia with Moscow-annexed Crimea, leading to its temporary closure for the third time in less than a year. There was no immediate comment from Ukrainian officials.

The bridge connecting Crimea and Russia is of great importance to Moscow, both logistically and psychologically, as a major artery for military and civilian supplies and as an affirmation of the Kremlin’s control over the peninsula, which it annexed in 2014. previous agreement

The two ships were the third and fourth to use the temporary corridor established by the Ukrainian government, and their departure coincided with the official announcement of a meeting on Monday between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The high-level talks in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi come just over six weeks after Moscow withdrew from a deal brokered by Ankara and the United Nations that allowed Ukrainian grain to safely access global markets despite the 18-month war.

raw iron

Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said that the ship Anna-Teresa, flying the flag of Liberia and carrying 56,000 tons of iron ore, left the Ukrainian port of Yuzhny and is now close to Bulgarian territorial waters.

A second ship – the Ocean Courtesy, flying the flag of the Marshall Islands – left the same port with 172,000 tons of iron ore concentrate on board. That ship arrived at the Romanian Black Sea port of Constanta, according to global ship-tracking website MarineTraffic. The site does not mention whether the ship is ready to move from the Romanian port.

Kubrakov said on the social networking site X, formerly known as Twitter, that the two ships sailed through a temporary corridor for civilian vessels from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports to the Bosphorus Strait. The corridor runs along the western shores of the Black Sea, bypassing international waters and using instead those controlled by NATO members Romania and Bulgaria.

The authorities in the Bulgarian port of Varna did not confirm whether the ship “Anna-Teresa” would enter the port or if it would continue to the Bosphorus. Belgorod bombing

And the governor of Belgorod, Vyacheslav Gladkov, said that a civilian was killed and two others were wounded during the bombing of the Russian region of Belgorod, which borders Ukraine. Two Ukrainian drones attacked the Valuysky district of the region, causing minor damage to a private house and a car, while another drone was intercepted by Russian air defense in the Grayvoronsky district.

The governor of the region, Roman Starovoit, said that a woman was also wounded on Saturday during the bombing of a village in the neighboring Kursk region, which borders Ukraine. He blamed Ukraine for the bombing.

Ukrainian authorities, who generally avoid commenting on attacks on Russian soil, have not said whether they carried out the attacks. Drone strikes and shelling on Russia’s border regions are frequent.

Kerch Bridge:

It was subjected to repeated attacks which led to its temporary closure for the third time in less than a year

September 1: Russia destroyed three Ukrainian naval drones that were used in an attempt to attack the bridge

2 – in July

Another attack on the bridge kills a couple and seriously injures their daughter, leaving a section of the road dangerously suspended.

3 – In October, an explosion occurred that killed three people targeting the bridge, which the Russian authorities said was caused by a truck bomb.

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