For the first time since the war in Ukraine began, a ship carrying grain left the port of Odesa on Monday thanks to a deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey.
After docking in Istanbul Tuesday for inspections, the cargo ship Razoni will carry more than 26,000 tons of corn to Lebanon – a shipment that is expected to ease a growing food crisis.
Ukraine is one of the world’s largest exporters of wheat, corn and sunflower oil.
The deal allows the country to export 22 million tons of grain and other agricultural goods that have been stuck in Black Sea ports for months because of a Russian blockade. As part of the deal, Russia will be able to export grain and fertilizers.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba hailed Monday as a “day of relief for the world, especially for our friends in the Middle East, Asia and Africa,” in a statement on Twitter. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also called the ship’s departure “very positive.”
Turkey’s defense ministry said more ships will leave Ukraine’s ports but did not provide further details. Russia and Ukraine signed separate agreements in Istanbul on July 22.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in statement that he hopes the shipments will “bring much-needed stability and relief to global food security especially in the most fragile humanitarian contexts.”
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► The European Commission announced $1 billion Euros will be delivered to Ukraine by Tuesday “to address its immediate financial needs following the unprovoked and unjustified aggression by Russia.” The money is the first part of a $9 billion Euro aid package.
►Anatoly Chubais, who resigned as a high-ranking adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin and left Russia shortly after the invasion of Ukraine, was reported to be in intensive care in a European hospital on Sunday for a neurological disorder.
►Oleksiy Vadatursky, who led a grain production and export business, and his wife, Raisa, were killed in their Mykolaiv home Sunday by a Russian missile strike, Ukrainian officials said.
Russian shelling kills three, injures more than a dozen
Three Ukrainian civilians were killed and 16 were injured by Russian shelling in the Donetsk region over the past 24 hours, according to the presidential office.
Russian rockets injured two people in Kharkiv, Gov. Oleh Synyehubov said on Telegram. One person was waiting for a bus and the other was near an apartment building, according to the Associated Press.
Three civilians were wounded by shelling in Mykolaiv, where repeated strikes also wiped out a hospital unit and damaged ambulances, according to Gov. Vitaliy Kim.
Contributing: The Associated Press