Russia’s war on Ukraine latest news: Moscow pulls out of grain deal
The European Union called on Russia to reverse its decision to pull out of a U.N.-brokered grain deal, a move that undermined efforts to ease a global food crisis and that Ukraine said Moscow had planned well in advance.
* Russia said on Saturday it suspended participation in July’s Black Sea Grain Initiative, which allowed major exporter Ukraine to ship agricultural produce, after Ukrainian attacks on ships in Crimea.
* Its defense ministry on Sunday said it had recovered and analyzed the wreckage of drones used in the attack, finding they were equipped with Canadian-made navigation. Some Ukrainian officials suggested Russia itself might be responsible for the damage. Reuters was not immediately able to verify either side’s claims.
* Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Russia was trying to create an artificial famine in developing countries, calling for a strong UN and G20 response.
* Foreign Miniter Dmytro Kuleba accused Moscow of using a “false pretext” to pull out of the grains deal and the European Union called on Russia to reverse its decision.
* U.S. President Joe Biden called the move “purely outrageous,” saying it would increase starvation, while U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Russia was weaponizing food.
NORD STREAM, CRIMEA
* Russia’s defense ministry said on Saturday that British navy personnel blew up the Nord Stream gas pipelines last month, a claim that London and Paris said was false and designed to distract from Russian military failures in Ukraine.
* Moscow offered no evidence for its claim. The ministry said “British specialists” from the same unit directed Ukrainian drone attacks on its Black Sea fleet that it said were largely repelled by Russian forces, with minor damage to a Russian minesweeper.
* Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said President Vladimir Putin’s willingness to negotiate remains unchanged and Moscow was ready to listen to “realistic” proposals.” Lavrov’s comments were quickly dismissed by his Ukrainian counterpart. “No one should get fooled by this,” Kuleba said on Twitter.
* Russia said on Saturday the accelerated deployment of modernized U.S. B61 tactical nuclear weapons at NATO bases in Europe would lower the “nuclear threshold” and that Russia would take the move into account in its military planning.
* Ukrainian electricity supplies are recovering after concerted Russian attacks on generating plants but emergency blackouts may still be needed, Zelenskiy said on Saturday.
* The Russian army repelled attacks by Ukrainian forces in the Kharkiv, Kherson and Luhansk regions, Russian news agencies cited the defense ministry as saying on Sunday. It also accused Ukraine of firing near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, but said the radiation situation remained normal, TASS reported.
* Serhyi Cherevaty, spokesman for Ukraine’s east military command said on television there were fierce battles near Bakhmut in Donetsk region with Russian corpses left on the battlefield. Russian assaults on two other areas in the region, around Avdiivka the direction of Uhledar, were underway with Ukrainian forces holding back attacks. (Compiled by William Mallard, Frances Kerry, Philippa Fletcher and Tomasz Janowski)
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