Russia attacks Izmail port, sending food prices higher; Ukrainians in Russian-occupied territory being forced to assume Russian citizenship, study finds

Russia has attacked Ukraine’s main inland port across the Danube River from Romania, sending global food prices higher as it ramps up its use of force to prevent Ukraine from exporting grain. The attacks on Wednesday destroyed buildings in Izmail and halted ships as they prepared to arrive there to load up with Ukrainian grain in defiance of a de-facto blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports that Russia reimposed in mid-July. The Izmail port has since served as the main alternative route out of Ukraine for grain exports. Kyiv reportedly said the attacks damaged 40,000 tonnes of food products.

The European Union has warned developing countries that Russia is offering cheap grain “to create new dependencies by exacerbating economic vulnerabilities and global food insecurity”, according to a letter seen by Reuters on Wednesday. The EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, wrote to developing and Group of 20 countries on Monday to urge them to speak “with a clear and unified voice” to push Moscow to return to a deal that allowed the safe Black Sea export of Ukraine grain and to stop targeting Ukraine’s agricultural infrastructure.

The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has said Russia’s attacks on port infrastructure show Moscow is intent on creating a “global catastrophe” with a crisis in food markets, prices and supplies. “For the Russian state, this is not just a battle against our freedom and against our country,” Zelenskiy said on Wednesday in his nightly video address. “Moscow is waging a battle for a global catastrophe. In their madness, they need world food markets to collapse, they need a price crisis, they need disruptions in supplies.”

Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, urged Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, to reopen talks on the failed Black Sea grain deal he helped broker last year.

More than 10 Russian drones were downed in an overnight attack on Kyiv, Ukrainian officials said early on Wednesday. “Groups of drones entered Kyiv simultaneously from several directions. However, all air targets – more than 10 unmanned aerial vehicles – were detected and destroyed in time by the forces and means of air defense,” said Sergiy Popko, head of the Kyiv city military administration.

Zelenskiy has said he hoped a Ukraine “peace summit” could be held this autumn, and that this week’s talks in Saudi Arabia were a stepping stone towards that goal. He told Ukrainian diplomats on Wednesday in a speech published on the president’s website that almost 40 countries would be represented at the meeting in Jeddah on Saturday and Sunday.

Ukrainians living in Russian-occupied territory are being forced to assume Russian citizenship or face harsh retaliation, including possible deportation or detention, US-backed research published on Wednesday said. Yale University researchers said that as part of a plan by Moscow to assert authority over Ukrainians, residents of the Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions were being targeted by a systematic effort to strip them of Ukrainian identity.

The Polish deputy foreign minister, Pawel Jabłoński, said relations with Ukraine had “not been the best” lately after an official was criticised by Kyiv after suggesting the embattled nation had been ungrateful despite the level of support it had received.

Poland adopted an amended version of a panel to investigate “Russian influence” after an avalanche of EU and US criticism of the move, widely seen as targeting the opposition.

Local militia groups in two Russian regions bordering Ukraine – Belgorod and Kursk – were provided with weapons to defend their territory from Ukrainian attacks, according to local officials.

Pope Francis urged Europe to find “courageous courses of peace” to end the war in Ukraine. He said: “Where are you sailing, if you are not showing the world paths of peace, creative ways for bringing an end to the war in Ukraine?”

Continue reading…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

US accuses Russia of ‘dangerous’ behavior after anti-satellite weapons test

Russia fired missile at its own satellite, generating debris that US says…

Asda owners used petrol forecourt firm to repay private jet loans

Billionaire Issa brothers borrowed $7m from EG Group in 2022 to repay…

Praise be: unburnable copy of The Handmaid’s Tale fetches $130,000

The special edition of Margaret Atwood’s novel was auctioned by Sotheby’s and…

Gaza militants fire rockets after clashes flare in Jerusalem

Rockets seen as response to unrest in mostly Palestinian east Jerusalem, including…