Russian Experts: “Ukraine used Black Sea Grain Corridor for Weapons Smuggling, Terror Attacks”. Stop and Warning to all Kiev Vessels

Russian Experts: “Ukraine used Black Sea Grain Corridor for Weapons Smuggling, Terror Attacks”. Stop and Warning to all Kiev Vessels

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On the cover image FPV racing drones fitted with RPG warheads used by Ukraine’s Omega M2 unit – Ukrainian Ministry of Defense

by Carlo Domenico Cristofori

VERSIONE IN ITALIANO

The Russian military issued a new navigational warning for the Black Sea on Wednesday, declaring certain areas in its international waters to be “temporarily unsafe” for vessels. Apart from that, the military advised seafarers against attempting to reach Ukraine’s ports, stating that all vessels heading there will be treated as potential carriers of war goods starting from Thursday.

Indeed, the Kiev regime took advantage of the deal to transfer weapons and as a convenient guise for its terrorist operations against Russian civilian infrastructure, military experts told Sputnik.

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Moscow: “All ships heading for Ukrainian ports will be treated as potentially carrying weaponry”

Therefore, the flag state of a ship attempting to reach the Ukrainian Black Sea ports will be deemed as “taking part in the Ukrainian conflict on the side of the Kiev regime,” the Russian Defense ministry said in a statement.

The military said it also declared certain areas in the international waters of the Black Sea to be “temporarily unsafe” for navigation. The areas are located in the north-west and south-east of the waterway, the military noted, adding that all the necessary navigational warnings have already been published as required under existing procedures.

“With the termination of the Black Sea Initiative and the abolition of the maritime humanitarian corridor, from 00:00 Moscow time on July 20, 2023, all ships en route to Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea will be considered potential carriers of military cargo,” the military insisted.

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The new restrictions de-facto re-impose the Russian naval blockade on Ukraine, lifted under the so-called Black Sea grain deal in July 2022. The agreement, signed with mediation by the UN and Türkiye, enabled the safe shipment of Ukrainian grain through Black Sea corridors amid the conflict between Moscow and Kiev. Moscow withdrew from the deal on Monday, citing the West’s failure to keep any of the promises made to Russia under the agreement, including re-enabling exports of grain and fertilizers from the country.

Ukraine’s drone attack in Crimea

Over the past two days, Russia has also ramped up its cruise missile and suicide drone attacks on Ukraine, extensively striking targets in and around Odessa, the key port city of the country. The strikes come in retaliation to the new Ukrainian attack on Russia’s Crimean Bridge, which coincided with the termination of the grain deal.

A teenage girl has been killed in a Ukrainian drone attack in northwestern Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov, Crimea’s head, said on Thursday.

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Aksyonov told TASS earlier that Ukrainian drones are a major threat to the region. Several attempted drone attacks on civilian infrastructure have been reported in Crime in recent months.

Two Ukrainian surface drones attacked the Crimean Bridge on Monday night, leaving two adults dead and a child injured. Damage was done to the bridge’s roadway, the National Anti-Terrorist Committee told TASS. Russia’s Investigative Committee initiated a criminal case on charges of a terror attack. Railway and contra-flow car traffic along one lane was resumed.

On Wednesday morning, a suspected drone strike triggered a fire and a series of explosions at a munitions depot in eastern Crimea. Local authorities closed a segment of the Tavrida highway running across the peninsula and issued evacuation orders to about 2,200 people in four nearby villages.

On Tuesday, Russian air defenses intercepted 28 airborne drones targeting multiple locations across Crimea.

Military Experts: Ukraine Used Black Sea Grain Corridor for Weapons Smuggling and Terror Attacks

Ukraine used the safe grain corridor for military purposes, as per Russian military expert Retired Сolonel Viktor Litovkin, wrote Sputnik International.

“[Ukraine] used civilian ships to transport weapons back and forth,” Litovkin told Sputnik.

“We know that the Ukrainian authorities (maybe not the authorities, but people close to the authorities) actively used black markets for supplies, for resale of weapons to the Middle East and even to France. In France those types of weapons were found that had been supplied to [Ukraine] by Western countries. They managed to resell some of these weapons to the West, to Africa, to the Middle East.”

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“They also received weapons covered with grain: it came to Odessa and was then sent from Odessa to various other places. Let alone the fact that under the guise of a grain deal, including the one that occurred last night[on July 17], they launched an unmanned sea surface drone that blew up part of the Crimean Bridge,” continued Litovkin.

“Part of the drone attacks was carried out from the zone where the grain corridor passed, that is, it was used as a cover,” Rozhin told Sputnik.

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In addition, part of the attacks carried out by Ukrainian drones against the peninsula was conducted from the area of the Black Sea safe corridor, as per Boris Rozhin, a military expert with the Center for Military-Political Journalism, an independent Russian military affairs think tank” reported Ekaterina Binova on Sputnik International.

The ships that sailed there were also used as cover. Therefore, of course, it was initially clear that the enemy would use the grain corridor specifically for military purposes. Attacks on Sevastopol and other attacks originated from the grain corridor zone or passed through the green corridor zone, especially those attacks that came from Izmail or from the Odessa region. That is, they somehow passed through the territory of the grain corridor.”

Carlo Domenico Cristofori
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MAIN SOURCES

RUSSIA TODAY – Russian military issues maritime warning for Black Sea

TASS RUSSIA NEWS AGENCY – Teenage girl killed in Ukraine’s drone attack in northwestern Crimea

SPUTNIK INTERNATIONAL – Military Experts: Ukraine Used Black Sea Grain Corridor for Weapons Smuggling and Terror Attacks

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