Russia says it will suspend UN-brokered Ukraine export deal

KYIV, Ukraine – Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Saturday that Moscow had moved to suspend the implementation of a United Nations-brokered grain deal in which more than 9 million tons of grain were exported from Ukraine and had driven down prices. global food.

The ministry cited an alleged Ukrainian drone strike on ships of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet anchored off occupied Crimea, which Russia said took place early on Thursday. Seven, is the reason for this move. Ukraine has denied the attack.

Russia’s statement came a day after UN chief Antonio Guterres urged Russia and Ukraine to extend the agreement. Guterres also called on other countries, mainly in the West, to expedite the removal of obstacles to Russian grain and fertilizer exports.

The head of the United Nations stressed the urgency of extending the agreement brokered by the United Nations and Turkey in July, which expires on November 19, “to contribute to food security across the world.” around the world and alleviate the suffering this global cost of living causes. His spokesman said.

United Nations Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia of Russia has said that before Moscow discusses the renewal “Russia needs to see its grain and fertilizer exports on the world market, which has never happened before. since the beginning of the agreement”.

Earlier on Saturday, Ukraine and Russia offered different versions of the Crimean drone strike in which at least one Russian ship was damaged in Sevastopol, a major port, on the Ukrainian peninsula annexed by Moscow in 2014.

The Russian Defense Ministry said a minesweeper suffered “small damage” in an alleged pre-dawn Ukrainian attack on naval and civilian ships docked at the port of Sevastopol, where the Fleet’s headquarters are located. Russia’s Black Sea. The ministry claimed Russian forces “repelled” 16 attack drones.

An adviser to the Interior Ministry of Ukraine claimed that “careless handling of explosives” caused explosions on four warships of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. Anton Gerashchenko wrote on Telegram that the ships included a frigate, an amphibious ship and a cruise missile ship used in July’s deadly attack on a western Ukrainian city.

In another development on Saturday, the Russian military removed a large number of sick and wounded comrades from hospitals in the Kherson region of southern Ukraine and stripped the facilities of medical equipment, Ukrainian military officials said as their forces battled to retake a province that had been invaded by invading troops early on. war.

Kremlin-installed authorities in the previously largely Russian-occupied region have urged civilians to leave Kherson, the region’s capital – and are believed to have fled with tens of thousands of residents to Russian-administered areas ahead of the expected Ukrainian offensive.

“The so-called evacuation of the invaders from the temporarily occupied territory of the Kherson region, including from medical facilities, continues,” said the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The military’s claims cannot be independently verified. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video address that the Russians are “dismantling the entire healthcare system” in Kherson and other occupied areas.

“The occupiers decided to close the medical facilities in the cities, take away equipment, ambulances. Zelenskyy said, “They put pressure on the doctors who remained in the occupied areas so that they move to Russian territory.”

Kherson is one of four regions in Ukraine that Russian President Vladimir Putin illegally annexed last month and where he later declared martial law. The others are Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia.

As Kyiv’s forces seek gains in the south, Russia continues shelling and missile attacks in the east of the country, Ukrainian authorities said on Saturday. Three more civilians were killed and eight others wounded in the Donetsk region, which once again became a front-line flashpoint as Russian troops tried to capture the city of Bakhmut.

Western analysts have long identified Bakhmut as a key target in Russia’s stalled eastern offensive, one that would pave the way for Moscow’s forces to threaten Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, two cities largest city held by Ukraine remains in the extended Donbas region.

Donetsk and the neighboring Luhansk province make up the Donbas. Pro-Russian separatists have controlled parts of both provinces since 2014.

In the northeastern region of Kharkiv, where Russian troops retreated last month and Ukrainian troops regained much of their territory, Russian shelling overnight wounded three civilians, said the Ukrainian governor of the region. said.

Governor Oleh Syniehubov wrote on Telegram saying that two women in their 40s and a man in his 60s were wounded near Kupiansk, a town that served as a supply hub for Russian forces before the Ukrainian army took over. back control.

In neighboring Luhansk province, Governor Serhii Haidai said Ukrainian forces shelled the entire length of the Kreminna-Svatove highway, where Russian troops established their main line of defense after withdrawing from the Kharkiv region.

A Russian artillery attack on Saturday also targeted “critical infrastructure” in Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhzhia region, the Ukrainian governor of the illegally annexed province said. About a quarter of the region, including the local capital, also known as Zaporizhzhia, remains under Ukrainian military control.

Writing on Telegram, Governor Oleksandr Starukh later said an industrial building had been attacked and there were no casualties.

According to Andriy Yermak, a senior official at Ukraine’s presidential office, in the latest swap, 52 Ukrainians, including two former guards at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, were released on Saturday as part of the framework. prisoner exchange with Russia. The steel mills in that bombed port city now symbolize Ukrainian resistance.

Among those released were the chief of surgery at the military hospital in Mariupol, who was in Azovstal, and a young army surgeon, Yermak said.

He was also released, he said, as a sailor defending Ukraine’s Snake Island, a strategic Black Sea outpost captured by Russia during the opening hours of the war. Others returning home were Ukrainian soldiers captured by Moscow near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant – the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 1986 – which Russian forces briefly occupied since May. 2 to March.


This version has been revised to show that the Russian Defense Ministry said one ship, not two, was slightly damaged in the Crimean port.


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