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BREAKING NEWS: KYIV, MOSCOW HAIL ODESA GRAIN SHIPMENT

The first shipment of Ukrainian grain has left the Black Sea port of Odesa in a move hailed by Kyiv and Moscow.
The ship is destined for Lebanon but will be jointly inspected off the coast of Istanbul under the terms of a UN-brokered deal.
Moscow claims its forces have destroyed two United States-made HIMARS rocket systems in Ukraine.

The Razoni, bound for Lebanon, is carrying more than 26,000 metric tonnes of corn, according to the UN
The Sierra Leone-flagged Razoni is seen departing from Odesa’s port
The Razoni, bound for Lebanon, is carrying more than 26,000 metric tonnes of corn, according to the UN [Metin Aktaş/Anadolu]

Crimea harvests record grain crop: Regional ministry

Russian-annexed Crimea has harvested its largest crop of grains since the collapse of the Soviet Union, according to the region’s agriculture ministry.

The ministry said more than two million tonnes of grains had been harvested before drying and cleaning, adding that farmers have already taken grain from 95 percent of the harvesting area.

It said the haul marked the largest crop since Soviet times, when Crimea harvested 2.2 million tonnes of grain in 1989.

Ukraine has accused Russia of stealing grain from territories that Russian forces have seized since invading in late February and exporting the foodstuff partly from Crimea. Russia, which seized the Crimean Peninsula in early 2014, denies those allegations.

an hour ago (11:14 GMT)

EU sends Ukraine 1 billion euros in financial aid

The European Union has sent Kyiv 1 billion euros ($1bn) in financial aid to support its budget and help it tackle the financial consequences of Russia’s invasion, Ukraine’s prime minister says.

“The 1 billion euros is a part of a large package of support for Ukraine … totaling 9 billion euros. The funds will help finance priority budgetary needs,” Denys Shmygal wrote in a Telegram post.

He said the first tranche of funds, amounting to 500 million euros, had already been received by Ukraine’s central bank. The remainder was expected to arrive on August 2, Shmygal added.

2h ago (10:38 GMT)

UN chief welcomes Ukraine grain shipment

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomes the departure of the first ship carrying grain from Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Odesa to global buyers since Russia launched its offensive, his spokesman says.

“The secretary-general hopes that this will be the first of many commercial ships moving in accordance with the Initiative signed, and that this will bring much-needed stability and relief to global food security especially in the most fragile humanitarian contexts,” Stephane Dujarric said in a statement, citing the accord signed last month by Russia and Ukraine to unblock grain exports from the latter.

“Ensuring that existing grain and foodstuffs can move to global markets is a humanitarian imperative,” he added.



2h ago (10:27 GMT)

Romania defuses drifting mine off Black Sea coast

Romania’s military has carried out a controlled explosion of a naval mine that had drifted close to the country’s Black Sea shore, the country’s defence ministry says.

The ministry said the mine defused on Sunday, the second handled by the Romanian military since March, was drifting some 2 nautical miles (3.7km) off the country’s shoreline.

Mines began floating in the Black Sea after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, and Romanian, Bulgarian and Turkish military diving teams have been defusing those drifting in their waters. Russia and Ukraine accuse each other of planting them.

The Black Sea is crucial for shipments of grain, oil and oil products. Its waters are shared by Bulgaria, Romania, Georgia and Turkey, as well as Ukraine and Russia.

2h ago (09:58 GMT)

UK says Odesa grain shipment an ‘important first step’

The United Kingdom’s foreign secretary has hailed the first grain shipment from the Ukrainian port of Odesa an “important first step”, and called on Moscow not to “weaponise global food supplies”.

“These ships must receive safe passage. There must be no repeat of Russia’s shelling of the port of Odesa,” Liz Truss said in a statement posted on Twitter.

“The only way [Russian President Vladimir] Putin can truly alleviate the global food security crisis he has created is by ending his brutal invasion of Ukraine,” she added.






3h ago (09:34 GMT)

Kremlin welcomes first grain shipment from Odesa as ‘positive’ news

The Kremlin has welcomed news of the first shipment of grain from Odesa as “very positive” news.

“As for the departure of the first ship, this is very positive. A good opportunity to test the effectiveness of the mechanisms that were agreed during talks in Istanbul,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, citing the deal reached by Russia and Ukraine last month on resuming exports from the latter’s Black Sea ports.

“Let’s hope that all the agreements will be implemented from all sides, and that the mechanism will work effectively.”


3h ago (09:12 GMT)

Russia says it has destroyed HIMARS, Harpoon systems in Ukraine: Report

Russia’s defence ministry says its forces have destroyed two United States-made HIMARS rocket systems in Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region, and a launch system for Harpoon anti-ship missiles in the southwestern Odesa region, according to a report by the country’s Interfax news agency.

There was no immediate comment from Ukraine on the Russian defence ministry’s latest claim. Al Jazeera was unable to independently verify the ministry’s report.

Kyiv has hailed the HIMARS systems as a possible game changer for the course of the war. The advanced weapons are more precise and offer a longer range than other artillery systems, allowing Ukraine’s forces to strike Russian targets and weapons depots further behind the front lines.



3h ago (08:53 GMT)

Kyiv hails Odesa grain shipment as ‘relief for the world’

Ukraine’s foreign minister has hailed the departure of the first shipment of grain from Odesa’s port since the start of Russia’s invasion in late February as a “relief for the world”.

“The day of relief for the world, especially for our friends in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, as the first Ukrainian grain leaves Odesa after months of Russian blockade. Ukraine has always been a reliable partner and will remain one should Russia respect its part of the deal,” Dmytro Kuleba tweeted.

Ukraine is a major supplier of grain for the global market, but fighting in the country has prevented the foodstuff from safely leaving the country’s ports since Moscow launched its offensive.





4h ago (08:45 GMT)

Photos: Putin attends parade as Russia celebrates Navy Day

Russia celebrated its Navy Day on Sunday with naval parades in various cities.

Putin attended the main event in Saint Petersburg, the country’s second-largest city.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin waves next to Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, centre, and commander-in-chief of the Russian Navy, Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov, right, in Saint Petersburg. [Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik Host Photo Agency via AFP]
Russian frigate Admiral Gorshkov is seen moored in the Neva River during the Navy Day celebration in St.Petersburg
Putin announced the navy would receive the hypersonic Zircon cruise missiles in the coming months. The missiles can travel at nine times the speed of sound, outrunning air defences. [Alexei Danichev/Sputnik/Pool via Reuters]
Russia’s missile boat Chuvashia sails during the parade in Saint Petersburg. [Maxim Shemetov/Reuters]
Russian warships, including minesweepers Pavel Khenov and Alexander Obukhov, sail in Saint Petersburg. [Anton Vaganov/Reuters]
Russian frigate Admiral Gorshkov is seen moored in the Neva River during the Navy Day celebration in Saint Petersburg. [Dmitri Lovetsky/AP Photo]
Russia’s vast coastline stretches for some 37,650km (23,400 miles). [Vitaly Nevar/Reuters]
The Russian corvette Aleksin fires missiles during the parade in Baltiysk, Kaliningrad region. [Vitaly Nevar/Reuters]
Russian military planes, including Tu-142 maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine aircraft, fly in formation during the parade in Saint Petersburg. [Maxim Shemetov/Reuters]
People stand on the beach as warships line in the sea during the Navy Day celebration in Novorossiysk. [AP Photo]
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4h ago (08:02 GMT)

First Ukraine grain ship to anchor off Istanbul on Tuesday

Turkey’s Defence Minister Hulusi Akar says the first ship carrying grain to leave Ukraine under a safe passage agreement will anchor off the coast of Istanbul around 12:00 GMT on Tuesday for a joint inspection.

As part of the grain deal, a Joint Coordination Centre was set up in Istanbul with personnel from the United Nations, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey.

5h ago (07:15 GMT)

‘It’s been a long time coming’: Grain ship leaves Odesa port


“It’s been a long time coming but it is now out coursing through wartime waters waiting to feed the world. The boat [ship] is called Razoni. It was made in 1996 in China and is flagged in Sierra Leone. It is full of grain. We are told corn,” a source said.


A statement from the United Nations said the Razoni is carrying more than 26,000 metric tonnes of corn [Anadolu Agency]

6h ago (06:48 GMT)

First ship carrying Ukrainian grain leaves Odesa port

Turkey’s defence ministry says the first ship carrying Ukrainian grain has set off from the port of Odesa.

The Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship, Razoni, left for Lebanon, the ministry said. A statement from the United Nations said the Razoni is carrying more than 26,000 metric tonnes of corn.

Data from the Razoni’s Automatic Identification System, a safety tracker for ships at sea, showed the vessel slowly coming out from its berth at Odesa port on Monday morning alongside a tug boat.


The ship is expected to reach Istanbul on Tuesday, where it will be inspected before being allowed to proceed, Turkey’s defence ministry said.

6h ago (06:48 GMT)

Drone explosion hits Russia’s Black Sea Fleet headquarters

Authorities say at least six people were wounded after a small explosive device carried by a makeshift drone blew up at the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet on the Crimean Peninsula.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the drone explosion in a courtyard at the naval headquarters in the city of Sevastopol. But the seemingly improvised, small-scale nature of the attack raised the possibility that it was the work of Ukrainian fighters trying to drive out Russian forces.

A Russian lawmaker from Crimea, Olga Kovitidi, told the Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti that the drone was launched from Sevastopol. She said the incident was being treated as a terrorist act, the news agency said.

6h ago (06:21 GMT)

Russia continues to attempt tactical assaults on Bakhmut axis: UK

The UK says Russia has continued to attempt tactical assaults on the Bakhmut axis in eastern Ukraine over the last four days, but has managed only to make slow progress.

“As briefed by the Ukrainian authorities last week, Russia is likely reallocating a significant number of its forces from the northern Donbas sector to southern Ukraine,” the British Ministry of Defence said in an intelligence update.

The UK said Russia was probably adjusting the operational design of its Donbas offensive and had likely identified its Zaporizhzhia front as a vulnerable area in need of reinforcement.


6h ago (05:51 GMT)

UK orders foreign companies to register owners as part of crackdown on Russian oligarchs

The UK says foreign companies holding UK property must identify their true owners in an official register as part of a crackdown on Russian oligarchs and corrupt elites laundering illicit wealth.

The “Register of Overseas Entities“, which became active on Monday, is part of a wider economic crime law enacted this year in an effort to stop the flow of illicit Russian cash into London following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

“To ensure we are free of corrupt elites with suspicious wealth, we need to know who owns what,” junior business minister Martin Callanan said.

“We are lifting the curtain and cracking down on those criminals attempting to hide their illicitly obtained wealth.”



Published By Odoh Dominic Chukwuemeka

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