- According to UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric, there were about 27 ships ready to go in the three Ukrainian ports covered by the export deal.
- The exports from one of the world's leading grain producers are intended to aid in the alleviation of a global food crisis.
Russia has accused the US of direct involvement in the Ukraine war, while the first ship carrying Ukrainian grain to global markets since Moscow’s invasion is scheduled to arrive in Turkey on Wednesday.
Russia’s defence ministry, led by a Putin ally, said comments made by Ukraine’s deputy head of military intelligence, Vadym Skibitsky, to Britain’s Telegraph newspaper showed that Washington was involved in the conflict despite claims that it was limiting its role to arms supplies.
According to Skibitsky, there was consultation between US and Ukrainian intelligence officials prior to strikes, and Washington had an effective veto over intended targets, but US officials were not providing direct targeting information.
“All of this undeniably proves that, contrary to White House and Pentagon claims, Washington is directly involved in the Ukrainian conflict,” the Russian defence ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
“All Kyiv-approved rocket attacks on residential areas and civilian infrastructure in populated areas of Donbas and other regions, which have resulted in mass civilian deaths, are directly responsible for the Biden administration.”
The White House and Pentagon did not respond immediately to the ministry’s claims.
However, the Pentagon denied Moscow’s claims that it had destroyed six US-made HIMARS missile systems since the start of the Ukraine war. Russia frequently claims to have hit HIMARS but has yet to provide proof.
Ukraine and the West accuse Russia of almost daily carrying out devastating missile attacks on civilian targets. Both sides deny targeting civilians on purpose.
‘JUST HELL,’ says DONBAS.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Tuesday that despite Western weapons supplies, his country’s forces could not yet overcome Russian advantages in heavy weapons and manpower.
“This is very evident in combat, particularly in the Donbas. There is nothing but hell there. It defies description.”
Donbas, Ukraine’s traditional industrial heartland in the east, has seen some of the bloodiest fighting of the war.
On February 24, Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine in what it calls a “special military operation.” It has been condemned as an unprovoked war of aggression by Kiev and the West.
Igor Vishnevetsky, deputy director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s department for non-proliferation and arms control, refuted all allegations of “unprovoked aggression” at a United Nations conference on Tuesday. He also stated that Moscow believes a nuclear war “must never be fought.”
Russian diplomat Alexander Trofimov told the United Nations that Moscow would only use nuclear weapons in response to a conventional weapons attack that threatened the Russian state’s existence.
“None of these two hypothetical scenarios are relevant to the situation in Ukraine,” Trofimov, a senior diplomat in Russia’s foreign ministry’s non-proliferation and arms control department, said.
Meanwhile, the first loaded ship since Russia’s invasion safely anchored off the Turkish coast on July 22, as part of a U.N.-brokered deal to unblock Ukrainian grain exports.
The Sierra Leone-flagged Razoni arrived at the Bosphorus Strait, which connects the Black Sea to global markets, around 1800 GMT on Tuesday, 36 hours after leaving the Ukrainian port of Odesa.
According to Turkey’s Defense Ministry, a delegation from the Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) in Istanbul, where Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish, and United Nations personnel work, is scheduled to inspect the ship at 0700 GMT on Wednesday.
It was carrying 26,527 tonnes of corn.
According to UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric, there were about 27 ships ready to go in the three Ukrainian ports covered by the export deal.
The exports from one of the world’s leading grain producers are intended to aid in the alleviation of a global food crisis.
Ukraine, known as Europe’s breadbasket, hopes to export 20 million tonnes of grain held in silos and 40 million tonnes from the current harvest, which will begin in Odesa and nearby Pivdennyi and Chornomorsk.
Russia has described Razoni’s departure as “very positive” news. It has denied any involvement in the food crisis, claiming that Western sanctions have slowed its exports.