Latest news from Russia and the war in Ukraine

First shipment of grain from Ukraine in months arrives in Turkey safely

The first grain ship to leave Ukraine in months has arrived safely in Turkish waters, where it will be inspected before continuing its journey to Lebanon.

The shipment comes after Turkey and the United Nations brokered a deal between Russia and Ukraine to allow the country’s vital exports to resume after a lockdown that contributed to global shortages of wheat and cooking oil, of which Ukraine is a major producer and exporter. .

The ship was carrying more than 26,000 tons of corn and will undergo an inspection in Istanbul before continuing to Tripoli.

An aerial view of the Sierra Leone-flagged dry cargo ship Razoni that departed the port of Odessa on Monday and arrived at the Black Sea entrance to the Bosphorus Strait, in Istanbul, Turkey, on August 3, 2022.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | fake images

The UN-led Joint Coordination Center requested that all parties inform their military of the ship’s movements to ensure its safe passage from Ukraine through the Black Sea, where Russia and Ukraine have mined much of the coastline amid the invasion, for Turkish waters on the Bosphorus.

The deal, which was reached after many negotiations between the warring countries, has been hailed as a rare success for international diplomacy, and some officials hope it could be used to potentially reach a ceasefire.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Monday after the merchant ship Razoni left Odessa port that “it was loaded with two scarce staples: corn and hope.”

“Hope for millions of people around the world who depend on well-functioning Ukrainian ports to feed their families. The departure of the ship is the first concrete result of the Black Sea Grains Initiative. It has been a long journey since that I presented the proposal to the leaders of the Russian Federation and Ukraine at the end of April,” he said. Razoni’s departure was, he added, a “huge collective achievement.”

— Holly Ellyatt

‘It’s hell’: President Zelenskyy describes the situation in Donbas

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that the situation in the Donbas in eastern Ukraine, the epicenter of the war in Ukraine, is “simply hell”.

Describing Russia’s “fire superiority” in his late-night video message, Zelenskyy said Ukraine’s forces “still cannot completely break the Russian army’s advantage in artillery and manpower, and this is very much felt in the battles, especially in Donbas: Pisky, Avdiyivka, other directions.”

“It’s just hell. It can’t even be described in words,” he added.

Firefighters try to put out a fire after the Russian shelling of a house in Bakhmut in Donetsk, Ukraine, on July 27, 2022.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | fake images

With heavy fighting in the Donbas, Ukraine has ordered residents of one of its constituent regions, Donetsk, to evacuate as Kyiv discusses the need for more weapons with its international allies. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg spoke with President Zelenskyy about more military aid for Ukraine, tweeting on Wednesday that “it is vital that NATO and its allies provide even more assistance to Ukraine even faster.”

People board the evacuation train from the Donbas region of western Ukraine, at the Pokrovsk railway station, on August 2, 2022.

Bulent Kilic | Afp | fake images

He said the two also discussed the first grain shipment since Russia’s invasion in late February and the subsequent naval blockade of Ukrainian ports.

Zelenskyy also commented on the initial success of the Black Sea Grains Initiative, an agreement between Russia and Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations, to allow Ukraine’s exports of vital products by sea to resume.

“Our goal now is to have regularity: so that when a ship leaves the port, there should also be other ships, both those that are loading and those that are approaching the port. Continuity and regularity is the necessary principle. All consumers of our agricultural products need it,” he said.

— Holly Ellyatt

Read the previous CNBC blog here:

Two Republican senators propose amendments before vote to add Finland and Sweden to NATO

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (centre), Finnish Foreign Ministers Pekka Haavisto (left), and Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde (right) hold a press conference after their meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels on January 24, 2022.

John Thys | AFP | fake images

Two Republican senators have proposed amendments on the vote to add Sweden and Finland to NATO.

Senators Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, and Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, are seeking changes to the treaty vote as Congress prepares to go into recess.

Paul told NBC News that his amendment states that “nothing in the Article Five portion of the NATO Treaty supersedes the directive from Congress that we have to declare war.” The NATO provision holds that an attack on one member of the alliance is an attack on all members.

Sullivan told NBC News that his amendment states that all NATO members, which now include Sweden and Finland, must commit to the 2% of GDP defense spending target set at the NATO Wales Summit in 2014.

The vote to include Sweden and Finland in NATO is expected to pass overwhelmingly.

— Amanda Macias

US imposes more sanctions on Russian officials and oligarchs

Red Square, Moscow

Mike Hewitt | fake images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced new sanctions against Russian oligarchs and state entities.

Below is the State Department fact sheet on the sanctions imposed on the following Russian oligarchs:

  • Alexander Ponomarenko “for operating or having operated in the aerospace sector of the Russian economy. He is an oligarch with close ties to other oligarchs and the construction of Vladimir Putin’s seaside palace.” He has been sanctioned by the United Kingdom, the European Union, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
  • Dmitry Pumpyanskiy “for operating or having operated in the financial services sector of the economy of the Russian Federation.” The United Kingdom, the European Union and New Zealand have also designated it. Pumpyanskiy has links to the yacht “Axiom”, which is now identified as blocked property.
  • Andrey Melnichenko “for operating or having operated in the financial services sector of the economy of the Russian Federation.” Like Pumpyanskiy, he has also been designated by the United Kingdom, the European Union and New Zealand.

“We are also imposing additional costs on Russia’s war machine by designating 24 Russian defense and technology-related entities,” Blinken wrote in a statement.

“Russia has consistently focused on exploiting high-tech research and innovations to improve Moscow’s war-fighting capabilities, the very defense capabilities that Russia’s military is using in its ferocious attacks hitting the population centers of Ukraine and result in the deaths of civilians, including children.” he added she.

— Amanda Macias

March was the deadliest month of Russia’s war in Ukraine, UN says

The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said March was so far the deadliest month in Russia’s war in Ukraine.

There were more than 3,100 civilian casualties and 2,400 injuries from the conflict in March, according to data compiled by the UN.

Total civilian casualties from February 24 to July 31, 2022 as compiled by the United Nations.

UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner

The United Nations has confirmed 5,327 civilian deaths and 7,257 injuries in Ukraine since Russia invaded on February 24.

“The majority of recorded civilian casualties were caused by the use of explosive weapons with wide-area effects, including heavy artillery shelling, multiple launch rocket systems, missiles and airstrikes,” the UN office wrote in a report. .

The human rights office added that most of the victims and injuries were recorded in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

— Amanda Macias

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