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Condemnation grows after Russia targets Ukrainian grain ports

The U.N. says Russia targeted civilian infrastructure in strikes against Ukrainian grain ports this week.
Condemnation grows after Russia targets Ukrainian grain ports
Posted at 3:25 PM, Jul 21, 2023

U.N. officials condemned Russia's targeting of civilians on Friday, after Russia struck grain infrastructure in Ukrainian port cities with missiles and drones this week. 

A Russian representative at the U.N. countered that the strikes in Ukraine targeted specific military positions.

The strikes come after Russia unilaterally ended the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which was struck under U.N. supervision in 2022 to keep food supply lines open between Ukraine and markets in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Russia alleged the deal was not adhered to, and said only 3% of grain exported under the agreement made it to its target markets.

In ending the deal, Russia says it aims to shore up its own crop exports — it wants to get out from under sanctions that are weighing on its agricultural sector.

SEE MORE: Russia hits critical port in Ukraine after Kremlin halts grain deal

U.N. officials warned that Russia's cancellation of the grain deal could affect markets and hunger worldwide.

The U.N. has tracked a spike in global wheat prices in the last few days.

One strike in Odesa this week destroyed 60,000 tons of grain that was awaiting export.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said Russia is "waging a war on the world's food supply," and said many of the world's poor will die as a result.

Russia also declared portions of the Black Sea dangerous for shipping, and said it would assume incoming ships were carrying weapons.

Shipping company officials say owners are for the moment still willing to carry grain shipments.

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