War in Ukraine: what to remember from the day of Wednesday, July 19

The end of the Ukrainian grain agreement is generating significant tensions and changes. Russia announced on Wednesday, July 19, that it will consider as potentially military any boat circulating in the Black Sea, this, from Thursday. Franceinfo looks back on the highlights of the day.

From Thursday, any boat circulating in the Black Sea will be considered potentially military by Moscow

The Russian Ministry of Defense has announced that from now on “all ships sailing in the waters of the Black Sea bound for Ukrainian ports will be considered as ships potentially carrying military cargo”.

kyiv, for its part, has asked for the establishment of “military patrols” naval forces under UN mandate and with the participation of Turkey in particular, said the adviser to the Ukrainian presidency. He ruled out any negotiations with Moscow, whose objective, according to him, is to “destroy” Ukraine.

Given the risks, “there are no longer any shipowners ready to go there”, noted Frédéric Denefle, managing director of the Garex group, a specialist in war risk insurance. Several insurers have terminated their risk coverage in the area, in particular towards the ports of Odessa, Chornomorsk and Yuzni. If the sea route seems impracticable, kyiv has raised the possibility of maintaining its cereal exports by alternative transport routes, in particular by river and land.

Vladimir Putin accuses Westerners of using grain deal as tool for ‘political blackmail’

For the Russian president, the West uses Ukrainian grain exports as a tool of “political blackmail”. “Instead of helping the countries that really need it, the West has used the grain agreement for political blackmail and made it a tool for the enrichment of multinationals, speculators on the world market”said Vladimir Putin during a government meeting broadcast on television.

The Kremlin chief assured that Russia was ready to return to the agreement if its demands were met. “We will consider the possibility of returning (to the agreement), but on one condition: that all the principles of Russia’s participation in this agreement are taken into account and carried out without exception and in full”he assured.

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Nearly 60,000 tons of cereals destroyed

During the night of Tuesday to Wednesday, Russian strikes on the port of Tchronomark caused heavy damage. Sixty thousand tons of cereals intended for export and stored in the Ukrainian port of Chornomorsk, near Odessa, a major port on the Black Sea. “It will take at least a year to fully repair the damaged infrastructure”, said the Minister of Agriculture of Ukraine. The attack, carried out with Iranian-made cruise missiles and explosive drones, left at least 12 injured, according to the governor of the Odessa region.

For its part, the Russian army, for its part, claimed to have targeted only “military industrial sites, fuel infrastructure and ammunition depots of the Ukrainian army”.

Washington announces $1.3 billion in military aid to Ukraine

The United States announced a new plan of military aid to Ukraine for an amount of 1.3 billion dollars. It notably provides for the delivery of four anti-aircraft missile systems, anti-tank missiles, artillery ammunition, demining equipment, and explosive drones, details the Pentagon in a press release.

The material will not be delivered to the front anytime soon: the aid announced falls under the aegis of the Security Assistance Initiative for Ukraine. This means that the United States provides equipment from the defense industry or from allies, rather than taking it directly from the arsenal of the American armed forces.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky immediately thanked Washington for the “unwavering support” Americans. This help “will save Ukrainian lives and bring us closer to our common victory”wrote on Twitter the Ukrainian president.

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