And angry Russia it appears is striking at the Ukraine Odessa warehouse ‘s and has threatened to stop any attempt the Ukraine may try to continue exporting shipments of grain by the Black Sea….The exports may switch to rail thru Europe….
A sea battle maybe brewing….
The fight IS escalating.….
The Wagner Group will continue it’s operations in Africa….
The US pledges $2.3 Billion for the Ukraine this week in military and hunmanitary aid……
British Intel believes the Russian President cut a deal with the Wagner leader and his people instead looking to get rid of them…Permanently…The groups is now in Belarus opposite Poland doing training , in whole…..
Ukraine troops move to use American made cluster bombs ….
Ukraine troops like their new American made Bradley Combat vehicles…..
A White House official said the United States has information that Russia may expand its attacks on grain facilities to include commercial shipping in the Black Sea. Ukraine countered Russia’s warning to vessels there with one of its own.
Here’s what we’re covering:
Russia steps up attacks on ports, as White House warns Moscow intends to target civilian ships.
Russia may attack civilian ships in the Black Sea and blame Ukraine, a White House official says.
Wheat prices remain high as concern grows about Black Sea instability and disruption to the grain supply.
Ukraine starts using American-made cluster munitions in its counteroffensive, U.S. officials say.
Can Ukraine find alternatives to export its grain?
Belarus says Wagner fighters are training troops on the border with Poland.
Disruption of Ukraine’s grain exports makes life harder for countries facing hunger, aid experts say.
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
The latest attack on Odessa sparked a fire in the city and killed one person, regional governor Oleh Kiper said Thursday. The barrage comes after Russia’s pullout from a U.N.-brokered deal that had allowed the flow of Ukrainian grain exports to the world, and after Moscow vowed to retaliate against Kyiv’s strike on the Crimean Bridge earlier this week. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Telegramon Thursday the attacks in Odessa and Mykolaiv showed “Russian terrorists continue their attempts to destroy the life of our country.” Russia “should suffer a devastating sanctions blow” in response, Andriy Yermak, the head of Zelensky’s office, said in a Telegram post.
Ships headed to Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea could be considered potential carriers of military cargo as of Thursday, the Russian Defense Ministry said. “The flag countries of ships sailing to the Ukrainian ports of the Black Sea will be considered involved in the conflict” on the side of Kyiv, it said.
In response, Ukraine’s military said that beginning Friday, all vessels in the Black Sea heading toward Russia’s ports and Ukrainian ports occupied by Russian forces may be considered as carrying military cargo.The military also declared maritime navigation in northeastern parts of the Black Sea and the Kerch-Yenikale strait, connecting the Sea of Azov to the Black Sea along Crimea, to be “prohibited as dangerous” starting Thursday. Ukraine accused the Kremlin of turning “the Black Sea into a danger zone,” adding: “The responsibility for all risks lies entirely with the Russian leadership.”
The White House warned that Russia’s military has laid sea mines around Ukrainian ports and is preparing for possible attacks on civilian shipping vessels in the Black Sea. NSC spokesman Kirby on Thursday added that the United States was releasing this information strategically to avoid false flag operations by Russia.
The European Union’s top diplomat accused Russia of deepening a global food supply crisis after the Kremlin withdrew from the grain deal. “This is going to create a big and huge food crisis in the world,” Josep Borrell told reporters Thursday. Wheat prices rose early Thursday for the third consecutive day, CNBC reported, though they remained below peak levels reached in May 2022, in the early months of the Ukraine war.
United Nations Secretary General António Guterres condemned Russia’s attacks on Ukrainian port facilities and Black Sea ports, adding that the attacks violate Russia’s memorandum of understanding with the United Nations that says the nation “will facilitate the unimpeded export of food, sunflower oil and fertilizers from Ukrainian controlled Black Sea ports,” according to a statement from his spokesman.
Germany is working with allies to make sure Ukrainian grain is not left to rot in silos after the suspension of the export deal, and will work to get the grain out by rail, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Thursday on the sidelines of a European Union foreign ministers meeting. Egypt, one of the world’s top wheat importers, criticized Russia’s exit from the deal and pledged to continue importing Ukrainian grain. “We are not pleased with the Russian withdrawal from the U.N. grain-export deal,” Egyptian Supply Minister Ali El-Mosilhy told Bloomberg.
Ukraine’s use of cluster weapons follows President Biden’s move to provide the delivery of the widely banned munitions, a decision criticized by human rights groups, European allies and some Democrats. Ukrainian officials have long said cluster munitions would compensate for their disadvantage in artillery, weaponry and troop numbers, The Post reports. Still, the munitions, which explode in the air, releasing smaller bomblets, are outlawed in more than 120 countries. Children are particularly vulnerable, as the submunitions can fail to explode until they’re picked up.
A drone attack in Crimea killed a teenage girl, Sergei Aksyonov, the Russian-backed head of occupied Crimea — which Russia illegally annexed from Ukraine in 2014 — said on Telegram early Thursday.
A building of the Chinese consulate was damaged during the Russian attack on Odessa, the regional governor said. The damage appeared to be minor — Kiper shared a picture on Telegram of a building with a broken window.
Wagner Group head Yevgeniy Prigozhin appeared to confirm that he was in Belarus in a new video, posted on Telegram and verified by The Post. It appears to be the first footage of him since his group’s short-lived mutiny in Russia last month. He vowed that his fighters would continue operating, but not in Ukraine, saying they would keep working in Africa and would train the Belarusian army.
Britain is imposing sanctions on 13 individuals and businesses linked to Wagner in Mali, Sudan and the Central African Republic, the Foreign Office announced Thursday.
South Africa announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be attending the August BRICS summit — composed of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — by “mutual agreement.” This resolves a diplomatic quandary for South Africa, which, as a member of the International Criminal Court, would have an obligation to arrest Putin upon his arrival in the country.
Ukraine’s new Bradley Fighting Vehicles face damage and quick repairs: In the early stages of Ukraine’s counteroffensive, about a dozen newly provided Bradleys — an American armor-killing vehicle that also carries soldiers into battle — have been destroyed, Isabelle Khurshudyan, Alex Horton and Kamila Hrabchuk report.
Many have been repaired and sent back to the battlefield.
“Even amid the early damage, Ukrainian troops have experienced the benefits of the new equipment. In the biggest plus, soldiers said, the Bradley protects everyone inside,” they write….