Three more ships carrying Ukrainian grain have left ports on the Black Sea as part of a UN-brokered deal aimed at addressing global food supply issues.
The ships are carrying about 58,000 tonnes of corn – with one heading to the UK, one to the Republic of Ireland, and the other to Turkey’s Black Sea port of Karasu.
Russia and Ukraine signed a deal in July to reopen Black Sea ports to resume grain exports, with shipments needed to alleviate a growing world food crisis.
The agreement aims to allow for the safe passage of grain shipments in and out of Odesa, as well as Chornomorsk and the port of Pivdennyi nearby.
The deal includes checks on inbound and outbound vessels to make sure only grains are being moved, as well as a commitment from Ukraine and Russia not to attack the ports or merchant or other civilian ships.
Global hunger issues – which the Russian invasion of Ukraine has exacerbated by blockading grain exports for several months – are feared to be contributing to instability and political destabilisation, with riots and protests being seen from Peru to Pakistan.
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be meeting his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Friday following Turkey’s successful role in establishing the grain deal.
The pair are expected to hold private talks and a working lunch, but will not be delivering a joint press conference.
Their relationship of “competitive co-operation” was highlighted ahead of bilateral talks in Iran, when President Erdogan left President Putin standing awkwardly while waiting for him – two years after the Russian leader left his Turkish counterpart in a similar predicament.
City ‘closed for weekend’
It comes as the Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv has imposed an unusually long curfew lasting the whole of the weekend as authorities attempt to catch those collaborating with Russia.
The city’s governor Vitaliy Kim said the curfew was not directly related to any military threats.
“There’s no sign of an encirclement. The city will be closed for the weekend. Please be understanding. We are also working on collaborators. Districts will undergo checks,” he wrote on Telegram.
Russia arrests scientist
On Friday, a director involved with Russia’s hypersonic missiles programme, Alexander Shiplyuk, was arrested for treason, according to Russian news agency TASS.
It is at least the fourth such arrest in the past year, with similar senior officials also described as being involved in the programme – named as Anatoly Maslov, Dmitry Kolker, and Alexander Kuranov – also reportedly being arrested.
Read more: The artillery slugging match for Ukraine’s south will be a slow and deadly grind
Amnesty accused of ‘shifting responsibility’
In Ukraine, president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been among those criticising an Amnesty International report which alleged the Ukrainian Armed Forces were putting civilians at risk.
The human rights group published a report claiming that Ukrainian forces had operated weapons systems from populated residential areas in contravention of international humanitarian law.
Amnesty’s Ukraine branch complained that they had told the International Secretariat that the report’s findings were wrong, but that they were not listened to.
President Zelenskyy criticised the organisation, saying it was attempting to “shift responsibility from the aggressor to the victim”.
Source: The Sun