Day 249: Grain Deal Tensions; Russia Relocates 70K from Kherson

Ukraine, Western powers, and the UN have responded to the news that Russia has decided to suspend involvement in the Black Sea Grain Initiative. Ukrainian Pres. Zelenskyy urged action from the international community, the White House said that Moscow was "weaponizing food,"

Day 249: Grain Deal Tensions; Russia Relocates 70K from Kherson
Image credit: PBS

Facts

  • Ukraine, Western powers, and the UN have responded to the news that Russia has decided to suspend involvement in the Black Sea Grain Initiative. Ukrainian Pres. Zelenskyy urged action from the international community, the White House said that Moscow was "weaponizing food," and the UN stated the agreement has delivered food security aid to millions worldwide.
  • Russia has rebuked Western criticism of its suspension of the deal, alleging that the UK "British military specialists" had been involved in the recent drone strikes on the Crimean port of Sevastopol — which precipitated the Kremlin's decision on the grain deal — and that some drones involved in the attack had "Canadian-made navigation modules."
  • Russia has also asserted that some of its ships that were struck in the drone attack are also involved in the grain agreement. Ukraine accused Moscow of halting 2M tons of grain across 176 ships — enough to feed 7M people.
  • Meanwhile, Russia has also accused UK navy personnel of sabotaging the Nord Stream gas pipelines, an allegation that London staunchly denies. This comes amidst reports that Russian agents allegedly gained access to former Prime Minister Liz Truss’s phone, and accessed key conversations with the UK's international allies.
  • On the ground, Russia stated that it has completed relocating civilians from Kherson as Ukrainian forces approach. 70K civilians were relocated to the eastern bank of the Dnipro river, which Ukraine has characterized as forced deportations.
  • Russia also stated on Sunday that Ukrainian forces lost 180 soldiers in the Nikolaev-Krivoy Rog region, which reportedly also included the loss of 32 military vehicles.

Sources: BBC News, DW, RFI, Al Jazeera, and Tass.

Narratives

  • Anti-Russia narrative, as provided by VOA. Russia is egregiously weaponizing food as a tactic in a war it started. Withdrawing from the grain agreement is impacting low- and middle-income nations, raising food prices, and making humanitarian crises worse. The Kremlin's actions are bringing the prospect of wide-scale famine to Asia and Africa.
  • Pro-Russia narrative, as provided by Tass. The drone attacks on Russian ships were launched from the "grain corridor" in the Black Sea, and have the fingerprints of UK and Canadian technology. Russia has every right to re-evaluate its participation in the grain agreement if agreed-upon demilitarized areas are being used to attack Russian vessels.

Predictions