The first humanitarian ship chartered by the UN to transport cereals Ukrainian left the port of Pivdenny in southern Ukraine on Tuesday, August 16, 2022, with some 23,000 tons for Africa, the Ukrainian Ministry of Infrastructure announced.
“The Brave Commander ship with grain for Africa has left the port of Pivdenny. This morning, the cargo ship left for the port of Djibouti, where the food will be delivered on arrival to consumers in Ethiopia”the ministry said on Telegram.
According to him, “23,000 tons of wheat are on board this ship chartered by the United Nations World Food Programme”.
Present at the port of Pivdenny on Sunday, Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said he hoped that ” two or three “ additional ships chartered by the United Nations could leave soon.
For its part, the United States Agency for Development Assistance (USAID) said in a statement on Tuesday that it had provided $68 million to the UN World Food Program (WFP) for the purchase, transport and storage of 150,000 tons of Ukrainian wheat.
“USAID […] supported the first humanitarian shipment of grain to leave the Black Sea via the Ukrainian port of Yuzhny today”indicates the press release of the agency which specifies that before the war, Ukraine was one of the main suppliers of cereals to the WFP.
This is the first shipment of food aid to leave Ukraine since agreements were signed in July by kyiv and Moscow, via Turkish mediation and under the aegis of the UN, on the export of Ukrainian cereals, blocked because of the war between the two countries.
According to the United Nations, between August 1 and 15, 11 bulk carriers were allowed to leave Odessa, 6 Chornomorsk and 4 Pivdenny. These 21 ships transported a total of 563,317 tons of agricultural raw materials, including 451,481 tons of corn. The main recipients of these deliveries were Turkey (26% of volumes), Iran (22%) and South Korea (22%).
Danger around the Zaporizhia power plant
Russian officials based in the occupied areas of Ukraine’s Zaporizhia region said on Tuesday August 16, 2022 that Ukrainian forces were shelling the town of Enerhodar, where the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe.
Interfax quoted Russian-installed Enerhodar authorities as saying Ukrainian forces began shelling the city at 3 p.m. local time, and accusing them of doing so in order to provoke Russia into retaliating.
Ukraine and Russia accuse each other of firing shells at and around the nuclear reactor complex in southern Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has warned Russian soldiers who aim their fire at the factory, or use it as a base for firing, that they will become a “special target” for the Ukrainian forces.
Navalny attacks the oligarchs
In a series of messages posted on social networks, the imprisoned Russian opponent Alexeï Navalny denounced on Tuesday August 16 the absence of systematic Western sanctions against the Russian oligarchs for their support for the regime of Vladimir Putin and his military intervention in Ukraine.
Drawing on a series of examples, he claims that only 46 of the 200 richest Russians, according to Forbes magazine’s ranking, are currently subject to US, EU or UK sanctions.
“To me, this doesn’t really look like an all-out war against Putin’s oligarchs”he commented.
According to him, among others, the CEO of the Russian giant Gazprom Alexei Miller is still not targeted by European sanctions, while the famous oligarch Roman Abramovich still escapes US sanctions.
“You can’t expect a schism among Putin’s elites over the war if, despite much talk, you don’t use the stick against them and let them keep their carrots”adds Mr. Navalny.
It also proposes to ban “for 20 years” from the United States, the United Kingdom and the EU any Russian personality publicly supporting the offensive in Ukraine.