Day 171: First Africa-Bound Ship to Deliver Much-Needed Grain Arrives in Ukraine; Russia Prepares for Prolonged War
While a UN-backed deal to restart Ukrainian grain exports saw a number of shipments go to Turkey and western Europe, the first ship destined for Africa docked in Ukraine's Yuzhne Port in the region of Odesa on Friday.
While a UN-backed deal to restart Ukrainian grain exports saw a number of shipments go to Turkey and western Europe, the first ship destined for Africa docked in Ukraine's Yuzhne Port in the region of Odesa on Friday. The vessel is expected to carry 23K metric tons of grain to the Horn of Africa nation, Djibouti, where it will be unloaded and sent on to Ethiopia.
Ukraine, meanwhile, remains gripped by war. On Sat., Ukrainian officials reported that Russian artillery and rocket fire continued in many villages along the front lines in the Donbas, as well as in the regions of Sumy, Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhia.
As Ukraine and Russia have traded accusations over recent shelling of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant - which Russian troops captured earlier in the war - Pres. Zelenskyy said on Sat. that Ukraine is targeting Russian soldiers who shoot at the facility or use it as a base to shoot from.
It comes as the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a US military think tank, assessed that Russia was engaging in efforts to mobilize its military-industrial complex, likely in preparation for a prolonged war. The day before, ISW also assessed that Russia had "doubled down" on its strategic ties with Iran and had greatly increased military and economic cooperation between the countries.
Meanwhile, Russia warned that it might rupture diplomatic relations with Washington if the US designates Russia a state sponsor of terrorism, with the head of the North American dept. at the Russian Foreign Ministry saying it would cause "the most serious collateral damage for bilateral diplomatic relations," and "The American side has been warned."
Elsewhere, Russian oil supplies via the southern branch of the Druzhba pipeline to the Czech Republic continued on Fri., the Czech pipeline operator Mero said. The Czech Republic, also known as Czechia, was the last country after Hungary and Slovakia to receive deliveries of Russian oil after a now-resolved issue over payment was triggered by EU sanctions.
Anti-Russia narrative, as provided by PBS NewsHour. This invasion is an egregious violation of international law. Putin's ultimate aim is to restore the Soviet empire, even if it takes massive bloodshed and false pretexts such as calling the 2014 Ukrainian revolution after an election a "coup". This unprovoked attack is the latest chapter in Putin's Orwellian attempt to rewrite history.
Pro-Russia narrative, as provided by Nsarchive. NATO and the US have ignored Russia's security concerns by breaking its promise not to expand eastward in return for German reunification. These concerns are legitimate and taking them seriously would have avoided the Ukraine tragedy.
Narrative C, as provided by Iol. A global food crisis was already exacerbated by the COVID pandemic. Russia's war on Ukraine only made matters worse. With Ukraine being the world's fifth largest exporter of grain – reportedly making up 40% of the World Food Programme's wheat stock – the resumption of its exports is a welcomed relief. However, the only way to abate the global food crisis is to end the war.