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Russia-Ukraine war live news: First grain shipment leaves Odesa; Moscow moving troops towards Kherson, Zelenskiy says


Grain ship leaves Ukraine port for first time since Russia blockade

Isobel Koshiw

Isobel Koshiw reports for us from Kyiv:

The Sierra Leone-flagged ship Razoni, carrying 26,000 tons of corn, has left the port of Odesa, destined for Lebanon. It is the first departure since the start of the Russian invasion, according to Ukraine’s infrastructure ministry.

Ukraine together with our partners has taken another step today in preventing world hunger,” Oleksandr Kubrakov, Ukraine’s infrastructure minister, said in a statement on Monday.

Kubrakov stressed that Ukraine had done “everything” to restore the ports and said the lifting of the blockade would give Ukraine’s economy $1bn in foreign exchange revenue.

Ukraine’s infrastructure minister said 16 loaded vessels had been stuck in Ukraine’s ports since the Russian invasion began, and officials planned for the ports to regain full transport capacity in the coming weeks.

But the world is watching to see if Russia sticks to its side if the bargain, after an attack on Odesa port a week ago.

Russia agreed to allow grain ships to leave Ukraine and to not attack them, in a deal signed on 22 July in Istanbul. But less than 24 hours later, the veracity of the deal was cast into doubt when Russian forces struck Odesa port.

When questioned by Turkey’s defence minister, Russia at first denied it was involved in the attack. But the next day it issued a statement saying it had struck a Ukrainian vessel carrying western weapons that was in the port. Ukraine’s authorities rejected Russia’s explanation.

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Read more of Isobel Koshiw’s report from Kyiv: Grain ship leaves Ukraine port for first time since Russia blockade

Key events

Children watch as the cargo ship Razoni departs from port of Odesa.
Children watch as the cargo ship Razoni departs from port of Odesa. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Adam Gabbatt

Adam Gabbatt

Twitter accounts that have promoted QAnon and anti-vaccine conspiracy theories are switching focus and increasingly spreading disinformation about the global food crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to a new study.

The research by the Network Contagion Research Institute (NCRI) found that conspiracy theorist social media accounts have started pushing the idea that western countries are responsible for the interruption of wheat, barley and maize exports from Ukraine.

The Russian government has made the same claims in recent weeks, blaming western sanctions for a slowdown in grain exports. Russia has blocked Ukraine’s shipping ports, which has prevented the export of tens of millions of tonnes of grain. The UN has suggested 49 million people could be pushed into famine or famine-like conditions because of Russia’s actions.

The NCRI, which tracks misinformation and manipulation on social media, found that conspiracy communities and influencers linked to QAnon, the extremist conspiracy movement whose followers believe Donald Trump is waging war against the “deep state”, are shifting from conspiracy theories around Covid-19 to food crisis disinformation.

According to NCRI, the accounts frequently link rising food insecurity to a “cabal of shadowy, and often Jewish elites, for bringing about the ‘New World Order’”, rather than to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In one example GhostEzra, an antisemitic QAnon social media influencer who has declared Covid “fake”, wrote on Telegram: “Never believe for one moment there’s a shortage of anything. Food. Water. Oil. They create and manufacture these shortages. These aren’t naturally occurring whatsoever.”

The “they”, the NCRI said, referred to Jewish people.

“There is a significant overlap between QAnon and other anti-vax and online conspiracy communities,” said Alex Goldenberg, lead intelligence analyst at the NCRI and a research fellow at the Rutgers Miller Center for Community Protection and Resilience.

“Some of the more colorful food-mandate conspiracies intermingle with anti-vaccine conspiracy theories.”

Read more here:

Summary of the day so far …

  • The Sierra Leone-flagged ship Razoni, carrying 26,000 tons of corn, has left the port of Odesa, destined for Lebanon. It is the first such departure since the start of the Russian invasion, according to Ukraine’s infrastructure ministry. “Ukraine together with our partners has taken another step today in preventing world hunger,” Oleksandr Kubrakov, Ukraine’s infrastructure minister, said in a statement on Monday. Kubrakov stressed that Ukraine had done “everything” to restore the ports and said the lifting of the blockade would give Ukraine’s economy $1bn in foreign exchange revenue.
  • Russia agreed to allow grain ships to leave Ukraine and to not attack them, in a deal signed on 22 July in Istanbul. But less than 24 hours later, the veracity of the deal was cast into doubt when Russian forces struck Odesa port. When questioned by Turkey’s defence minister, Russia at first denied it was involved in the attack. But the next day it issued a statement saying it had struck a Ukrainian vessel carrying western weapons that was in the port. Ukraine’s authorities rejected Russia’s explanation.
  • Russia is moving large numbers of troops to Ukraine’s south in preparation for a Ukrainian counteroffensive, according to Ukraine’s deputy head of military intelligence. “They are increasing their troop numbers, preparing for our counteroffensive [in Ukraine’s south] and perhaps preparing to launch an offensive of their own,” Vadym Skibitsky said. The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said Russia was relocating some of its troops from their positions in the east to the south in order to push towards Kherson’s regional capital as well as the Zaporizhzhia region.
  • Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been urged to evacuate the frontline eastern Donetsk region, the scene of fierce clashes with the Russian military. More than 50,000 children are still in the region, according to local officials. “They need to be evacuated, you cannot put them in mortal danger in the winter without heating, light, without the ability to keep them warm,” Kyiv’s ministry of reintegration of temporarily occupied territories said in a statement.
  • Russia claims five people were injured after a Ukrainian drone strike on its Black Sea fleet headquarters, prompting officials to cancel festivities planned for Navy Day. “Early this morning, [Ukraine] decided to spoil our Navy Day,” said Mikhail Razvozhayev, the head of the local Russian administration in Sevastopol in Crimea. “An unidentified object flew into the yard of the fleet headquarters. According to preliminary data, it was a drone. Five people were injured.”
  • Russian strikes hit the southern Ukrainian port city of Mykolaiv early on Sunday, wounding three people and damaging homes and schools, according to the city’s mayor, Oleksandr Senkevych. Zelenskiy described the strikes as “probably the most brutal” on the city and region of the entire war.
  • Russian shelling on Mykolaiv reportedly killed one of Ukraine’s wealthiest men, Oleksiy Vadatursky, and his wife, Raisa. Vadatursky headed the grain production and export business Nibulon, which included a fleet of ships for sending grain abroad. A presidential adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, said Vadatursky was specifically targeted and his death was “not an accident, but a well thought out and organised premeditated murder”.

That is it from me, Martin Belam for now. I will be back later on. Nicola Slawson will be with you for the next few hours.

Here is a video clip issued by the Ukrainian ministry of infrastructure of the departure of the Razoni from Odesa.

Grain ship leaves Ukrainian port of Odesa for first time since Russian invasion – video

Reuters reports that the Kremlin has said in a short statement that the news of the first ship carrying grain to leave Ukraine’s port of Odesa under a deal brokered by Turkey is “very positive”.

Russia’s ministry of defence has issued its daily operational bulletin, in which it has claimed to have killed at least a further 250 Ukrainian service personnel, and injured at least the same amount.

The report, however, covers several days, listing attacks that the ministry said took place on 28 July and 29 July.

The report lists a large amount of military equipment that Russia says it has destroyed. It also claims 13 Ukrainian drones have been shot down. None of the claims have been independently verified.

This is a short video clip posted to social media that appears to show the Razoni on her way out of Odesa.

A moment: The Razoni making her way out of the port of Odesa with 26,000 tonnes of Ukrainian grain.

A small but significant start . pic.twitter.com/7CpoaoqtdM

— James Waterhouse (@JamWaterhouse) August 1, 2022

Here are some of the latest images that we have been sent over the news wires from Ukraine.

This satellite photo from Sunday shows the Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship Razoni, center with white masts, docked at the port in Odesa.
This satellite photo from Sunday shows the Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship Razoni, centre with white masts, docked at the port in Odesa. Photograph: Planet Labs PBC/AP
A Ukrainian farmer works at a warehouse in Odesa.
A Ukrainian farmer works at a warehouse in Odesa. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
A woman gathers her belongings from a heavily damaged residential building in Saltivka, a northern district of Kharkiv.
A woman gathers her belongings from a heavily damaged residential building in Saltivka, a northern district of Kharkiv. Photograph: Genya Savilov/AFP/Getty Images
Some wooden crosses have been replaced by round granite stones and are all identical at these unidentified graves in Dnipro.
Some wooden crosses have been replaced by round granite stones and are all identical at these unidentified graves in Dnipro. Photograph: Gaëlle Girbes/Getty Images
In some areas of Ukraine life continues as normal, as bathers spend a summer Sunday afternoon along a beach on the Dnieper River in Kyiv.
In some areas of Ukraine life continues as normal, as bathers spend a summer Sunday afternoon along a beach on the Dnieper River in Kyiv. Photograph: David Goldman/AP

The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has issued its daily operational briefing. It claims that one person was killed and nine civilians were injured in shelling by Ukrainian forces on eight of the settlements it claims to control. It says 19 houses and two civil infrastructure facilities were damaged.

The DPR says: “At present, the DPR and Luhansk People’s Republic troops, with fire support from the Russian Federation armed forces, have liberated 263 settlements.”

The claims have not been independently verified. Russia, Syria and North Korea are the only UN member states to recognise the DPR and the similarly self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic as legitimate authorities.

There are some images emerging of the Razoni in Odesa as it becomes the first ship to depart under the new grain export arrangement.

The first 🇺🇦 grain ship since #RussianAggression has left port. Thanks to the support of all our partner countries & @UN we were able to full implement the Agreement signed in Istanbul. It’s important for us to be one of the guarantors of 🌏 food security. pic.twitter.com/jOz3bdmdfB

— Oleksandr Kubrakov (@OlKubrakov) August 1, 2022

The ship is bound for Lebanon, and carrying 26,000 tonnes of corn.

Sierra Leone-flagged dry cargo ship Razoni departing from Odesa.
Sierra Leone-flagged dry cargo ship Razoni departing from Odesa. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Grain ship leaves Ukraine port for first time since Russia blockade

Isobel Koshiw

Isobel Koshiw reports for us from Kyiv:

The Sierra Leone-flagged ship Razoni, carrying 26,000 tons of corn, has left the port of Odesa, destined for Lebanon. It is the first departure since the start of the Russian invasion, according to Ukraine’s infrastructure ministry.

Ukraine together with our partners has taken another step today in preventing world hunger,” Oleksandr Kubrakov, Ukraine’s infrastructure minister, said in a statement on Monday.

Kubrakov stressed that Ukraine had done “everything” to restore the ports and said the lifting of the blockade would give Ukraine’s economy $1bn in foreign exchange revenue.

Ukraine’s infrastructure minister said 16 loaded vessels had been stuck in Ukraine’s ports since the Russian invasion began, and officials planned for the ports to regain full transport capacity in the coming weeks.

But the world is watching to see if Russia sticks to its side if the bargain, after an attack on Odesa port a week ago.

Russia agreed to allow grain ships to leave Ukraine and to not attack them, in a deal signed on 22 July in Istanbul. But less than 24 hours later, the veracity of the deal was cast into doubt when Russian forces struck Odesa port.

When questioned by Turkey’s defence minister, Russia at first denied it was involved in the attack. But the next day it issued a statement saying it had struck a Ukrainian vessel carrying western weapons that was in the port. Ukraine’s authorities rejected Russia’s explanation.

Read more of Isobel Koshiw’s report from Kyiv: Grain ship leaves Ukraine port for first time since Russia blockade

Reuters is carrying a little more detail on the first ship expected to depart the port of Odesa under the Turkey-brokered grain export deal – although there has been some conflicting information about destinations and timings.

The Turkish ministry of defence is quoted as saying the Sierra Leone-flagged ship Razoni will set off from Odesa port for Lebanon with its cargo of corn.

The ministry went on to say: “Deployment of other ships are planned within the scope of the determined corridor and method.”

Ukrainian officials have said there are 17 ships docked in Ukraine’s Black Sea ports with almost 600,000 tonnes of cargo. Of them, 16 hold Ukrainian grain with a total volume of about 580,000 tonnes.





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