Home » Russia-Ukraine War: Concerns Over Security Of Captured Nuclear Plant; Three Grain Ships Depart Ukraine – Live

Russia-Ukraine War: Concerns Over Security Of Captured Nuclear Plant; Three Grain Ships Depart Ukraine – Live

Three ships carrying grain leave Ukrainian ports

Three ships carrying tens of thousands of tonnes of grain have now left Ukrainian ports, according to the Turkish defence ministry and the Reuters news agency.

These departures follow an internationally brokered deal to unblock Ukraine’s agricultural exports and ease a growing global food crisis.

Two of the ships set off from Chornomorsk and the other departed from nearby Odesa. In total, Reuters said, they are carrying about 58,000 tonnes of corn.

The bulk carrier Rojen leaves the sea port in Chornomorsk on Friday morning. Photograph: Reuters

On Twitter, Turkey’s defence ministry said the Panama-flagged Navistar, carrying 33,000 tonnes of corn, was bound for Ireland.

It added that the Maltese-flagged Rojen, carrying 13,000 tonnes of corn, was heading for the UK.

The Turkish-flagged ship Polarnet, carrying 12,000 tonnes of corn, is on course for the Turkish Black Sea port of Karasu.

The Turkish-flagged Polarnet after leaving Chornomorsk on Friday. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

It’s 11am in London and 1pm in Kyiv. Here’s a summary of the day’s main developments so far:

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  • Three ships carrying almost 60,000 tonnes of grain between them have departed Ukrainian Black Sea ports and are on their way to Britain, Ireland and Turkey respectively. Oleksandr Kubrakov, Ukraine’s infrastructure minister, said he plans “to ensure ports have the ability to handle more than 100 vessels per month”.
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  • Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy has criticised yesterday’s Amnesty International – which suggested Ukrainian forces’ tactics are endangering civilians by using some schools and hospitals as bases. Zelenskiy said the report “cannot be tolerated” as there “cannot be any condition under which any Russian attack on Ukraine becomes justified”.
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  • The UK’s ministry of defence has raised concerns about the “security and safety” of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is under Russian control. It says Russia has “used artillery units based in these areas to target Ukrainian territory on the western bank of the Dnipro river”.
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  • Vladimir Putin and Tayyip Erdoğan are scheduled to meet later today in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. Talks between the presidents of Russia and Turkey are expected to focus on Syria, Ukraine and the Russian construction of a nuclear power plant in southern Turkey.
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  • Canada is sending up to 225 Canadian armed forces to the UK to recommence the training of Ukrainian military recruits, the Canadian defence minister has announced. Since 2015, Canada has trained 33,000 Ukrainian military and security personnel but in February paused aspects of the training.
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  • A US official has accused Moscow of preparing to plant fake evidence to make it look like the recent mass killing of Ukrainian prisoners in an attack on a Russian-controlled prison was caused by Ukraine. Kyiv and Moscow have traded blame over the strikes on the prison in Kremlin-controlled Olenivka, in eastern Ukraine, last week.
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That’s it from me, I’m now handing over to my colleague Nicola Slawson.

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Yesterday, a Russian court convicted the US basketball player Brittney Griner on drug charges, sentencing her to nine years in prison and a 1m rouble fine in a politically charged verdict expected to lead to a prisoner swap with the US.

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US president Joe Biden released a statement following Griner’s sentencing, calling her detention “unacceptable” and demanding she be released.

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Now, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has confirmed Russia would be willing to discuss a prisoner swap, but not publicly.

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Speaking at the East Asia summit in Cambodia, Lavrov said:

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We are ready to discuss this topic, but within the framework of the channel that was agreed upon by presidents Putin and Biden.

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If the Americans decide to once again resort to public diplomacy… that is their business and I would even say that it is their problem.

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Three ships carrying tens of thousands of tonnes of grain have now left Ukrainian ports, according to the Turkish defence ministry and the Reuters news agency.

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These departures follow an internationally brokered deal to unblock Ukraine’s agricultural exports and ease a growing global food crisis.

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Two of the ships set off from Chornomorsk and the other departed from nearby Odesa. In total, Reuters said, they are carrying about 58,000 tonnes of corn.

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On Twitter, Turkey’s defence ministry said the Panama-flagged Navistar, carrying 33,000 tonnes of corn, was bound for Ireland.

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It added that the Maltese-flagged Rojen, carrying 13,000 tonnes of corn, was heading for the UK.

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The Turkish-flagged ship Polarnet, carrying 12,000 tonnes of corn, is on course for the Turkish Black Sea port of Karasu.

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