Shift in war’s front seen as ships cleared to leave Ukraine

KYIV: Four more agricultural cargo ships detained by war in Ukraine On Sunday, analysts warned that Russia was moving troops and equipment in the direction of ports to thwart a Ukrainian counterattack.
The body that oversees an international agreement to get some 20 million grain out of Ukraine and feed millions of starving poor in Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia says ships carrying The cargo has been cleared for departure from Chornomorsk and Odesa .
Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and United Nation Agreements signed last month aim to create a sea channel that will allow cargo ships to safely navigate out of ports blockaded by the Russian military and through waters exploited by the Ukrainian military. Implementation of the deal, which is in effect for four months, has been slow since the first ship sailed last Monday.
During the last four months of the war, Russia focused on capturing the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, where pro-Moscow separatists had controlled some territories as self-proclaimed republics for eight years. five. Russian forces have been gradually advancing towards the border area with Russia while conducting missile and missile strikes to limit the movement of Ukrainian warplanes elsewhere.
In the past day, 5 civilians were killed in the Russian and separatist shootings on the cities of the Donetsk region, the part of Donbas still under the control of Ukraine, the governor of the region, Serhiy Haidai, reported. He and Ukrainian government officials have repeatedly urged civilians to evacuate the province.
In an analysis over the weekend, the British Ministry of Defense said the Russian invasion that began on February 24 “is about to enter a new phase” in which the fighting will shift west and south to a The front line was about 350 kilometers (217 miles) long. extending from near the city of Zaporizhzhia to Russian-occupied Kherson.
Kherson, located on the Dnieper River near its mouth to the Black Sea, was under Russian control early in the war and Ukrainian officials have vowed to recapture it. Kherson is located 227 kilometers (141 mi) from Odesa, home to Ukraine’s largest port, so escalating conflict there could have consequences for the international grain deal.
The city of Mykolaiv, an important shipbuilding center hunted by the Russians every day, was even closer to Odesa. The Mykolaiv The regional governor, Vitaliy Kim, said an industrial facility on the outskirts of the region’s capital caught fire early Sunday.
On Saturday, Russian forces conducted airstrikes, artillery fire and redistribution of other weapons as part of an effort to secure their positions in the occupied areas, according to the Institute of International Studies. War Research, a Washington investigative agency.
Citing local Ukrainian officials, the institute said the Russians “continue to accumulate a large amount of military equipment” in a town across the Dnieper River from Kherson. The preparations appear to be designed to secure logistics routes to the city and establish defensive positions on the left bank of the river, the team said.
Ukrainian officials were initially skeptical about a grain export deal, citing suspicions that Moscow would try to exploit military cargo shipping offshore or send long-range missiles from the Sea. Black, as he did many times during the war. Agreements approved last month call for ships to leave Ukraine under military escort and conduct inspections.
Under the agreements, ships leaving Ukraine are inspected by teams of officials from the three countries and the United Nations to ensure that they are carrying only grain, fertilizer or food, and not any other cargo. Incoming ships are checked to make sure they are not carrying weapons.
The Joint Coordination Center, the body responsible for administering the deal, said the three cargo ships that left Friday are expected to pass through Turkey’s Bosporus Strait on Sunday after the inspection is complete. Panama is flagged Navi StarThe ship is carrying 33,000 tons of grain to Ireland, has completed the inspection process and is ready to set sail.
The Turkish-flagged Polarnet, bound for Turkey, and the Malta-flagged Rojen, bound for the UK, are awaiting inspection. Vessels carrying more than 25,000 tons of corn are awaiting inspection. BILLION
The Joint Coordination Center said three of the carriers cleared to leave Ukraine on Sunday – Glory, Star Helena and Riva Wind, all flagged in the Marshall Islands – were transporting more than 171,000 tonnes of corn total. The Glory is intended for Istanbul, Star Helena to Nantong in China and Riva Wind to the Turkish port of Iskenderun on the Mediterranean.
The fourth ship cleared for departure, the Liberian-flagged tanker Mustafa Necati was carrying more than 6,600 tons of sunflower oil to Monopoli, Italy.
The center also authorized the first ship to arrive under the agreement, saying the Liberian-flagged Osprey S will arrive at the Ukrainian port of Chornomorsk on Monday. Traffic monitoring websites at sea show the ship north of the entrance to the Black Sea leading to the Bosporus, where the ships have been waiting for inspection crews to board.

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