Russia smashes Ukrainian port; Putin announces global maritime ambitions

  • Putin’s maritime ambitions include the Black Sea, the Arctic
  • Russian missiles storm the port of Mykolaiv
  • Explosion in Russian naval base Black Sea
  • Ukrainian grain magnate Oleksiy Vadatursky killed in Mykolaiv
  • First grain ship from Ukraine can leave the port on Monday

KYIV, Aug. 1 (Reuters) – Russian missiles slammed into Ukraine’s Black Sea port city of Mykolaiv as President Vladimir Putin signed a new naval doctrine labeling the United States as Russia’s main rival and boosting global maritime ambitions in the Black Sea and the Arctic region.

Putin did not mention the conflict in Ukraine during a speech marking Russia’s Naval Day on Sunday, but said the navy would receive hypersonic Zircon cruise missiles in the coming months. The missiles can travel at nine times the speed of sound and evade air defenses. read more

Naval Day celebrations in the port of Sevastopol were disrupted when five Russian naval personnel were injured in an explosion after a suspected drone flew into the courtyard of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, the governor of the Crimean port city, Mikhail Razvozhayev, told reporters. Russian media.

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Reuters could not independently verify the battlefield reports.

Olga Kovitidi, a member of Russia’s upper house, told Russia’s RIA news agency that the attack was “undoubted not from outside, but from Sevastopol territory”.

“Urgent searches are underway in the city to track down the organizers of this terrorist act,” Kovitidi said.

Mykolaiv mayor Oleksandr Senkevych said more than 12 rocket attacks on Sunday, probably the most powerful on the city in five months of war, hit homes and schools, confirming two deaths and three injuries. Rocket attacks continued until Sunday evening.

Ukrainian grain magnate Oleksiy Vadatursky, founder and owner of Nibulon agricultural company, and his wife were killed in their home, Mykolaiv governor Vitaliy Kim said on Telegram.

Its headquarters are in Mykolaiv, a strategically important city bordering the largely Russian-occupied Kherson region. Nibulon specializes in the production and export of wheat, barley and maize, and has its own fleet and shipyard.

GRAIN SHIPMENTS

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy described Vadatursky’s death as “a great loss for all of Ukraine”.

Zelenskiy added that the businessman β€” one of Ukraine’s richest with Forbes estimating his 2021 net worth at $430 million β€” had built a modern grain market with a network of transhipment terminals and elevators.

“It is these people, these companies, in the very south of Ukraine, who have guaranteed the food security of the world,” Zelenskiy said in his overnight speech. β€œIt was always like this. And it will be again.’

Putin invaded Ukraine on February 24, sparking a conflict that has killed thousands, uprooted millions and deeply strained relations between Russia and the West.

The biggest conflict in Europe since World War II has also led to an energy and food crisis that is shaking the global economy. Both Ukraine and Russia are important suppliers of grain.

Zelenskiy said Ukraine may only harvest half its usual amount this year due to agricultural disruption.

But an agreement signed by the United Nations and Turkey on July 22 provides safe passage for ships carrying grain from three southern Ukrainian ports.

The ship may leave Ukrainian ports on Monday, a spokesman for Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said.

EASTERN DANGER

Zelenskiy said Russia has transferred some troops from the eastern Donbas region to the southern Kherson and Zaporizhizhya regions.

“But that won’t help them there. None of the Russian attacks will go unanswered by our army and intelligence officers,” he said.

After failing to quickly capture the capital Kiev early in the war, Russia has focused its forces on eastern and southern Ukraine.

Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and Kiev says Moscow wants to do the same with the Donbas region, linking it to Crimea to the south. Russian-backed separatists controlled parts of the region before the invasion.

Russia said it had invited UN and Red Cross experts to investigate the deaths of dozens of Ukrainian prisoners held by Moscow-backed separatists.

Ukraine and Russia have exchanged accusations about a rocket attack or explosion early Friday that appeared to have killed Ukrainian POWs in the frontline city of Olenivka in eastern Donetsk.

The International Committee of the Red Cross condemned the attack, saying it had not been given permission to visit the site, but added that it was not its mandate to publicly investigate alleged war crimes. read more

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Reporting by Reuters agencies; Written by Michael Perry; Editing by Robert Birsel

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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