Six other ships carryingheld by He was given permission on Sunday to leave the country’s Black Sea coast as analysts warned that Russia was moving troops and equipment toward its southern port cities to fend off a Ukrainian counterattack.
Ukraine and Russia also accused each other of bombing Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.
Loaded ships have been cleared of leaving Chornomorsk and Odessa, according to the Joint Coordination Center, which is overseeing an international deal aimed at getting about 20 million tons of grain out of Ukraine to feed starving millions in Africa, the Middle East and parts of the country. Asia.
Yuri Yalovchuk, a third-generation farmer, told CBS News he had 1,000 tons of the barley crop that had to be shipped in the spring. It is no longer fit for human consumption, and has become chicken feed.
Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations signed agreements last month to create a sea corridor of 111 nautical miles that would allow cargo ships to travel safely from ports besieged by the Russian military and through waters mined by the Ukrainian military. The deal, which has been in effect for four months, has continued slowly since the first ship went live on August 1.
Four of the carriers that were allowed on Sunday to leave Ukraine were transporting more than 219,000 tons of corn. The Joint Coordination Center said that the fifth was carrying more than 6,600 tons of sunflower oil and the sixth 11,000 tons of soybeans.
The center said that three other cargo ships that departed on Friday passed the inspections and were given permission on Sunday to pass through the Turkish Bosphorus Strait on their way to their final destinations.
However, the ship that left Ukraine last Monday with great fanfare as the first under the grain export deal has delayed its scheduled arrival in Lebanon on Sunday, according to a minister in Lebanon’s cabinet and Ukraine’s embassy. The reason for the delay was not immediately clear.
Ukrainian officials were initially skeptical of the grain export deal, citing suspicions that Moscow would try to exploit the shipping activity of large forces abroad or send long-range missiles from the Black Sea, as it did several times during the war.
The agreements call for ships to leave Ukraine under military escort and undergo inspections to ensure they are carrying only grain, fertilizer or food and no other goods. Incoming cargo ships are checked to ensure they do not carry weapons.
In a weekend analysis, Britain’s Ministry of Defense said the Russian invasion that began on February 24 is “about to enter a new phase” in which the fighting will shift to a 350-kilometre (217-mile) front line stretching from near the city. From Zaporizhzhia to Kherson occupied by Russia.
That area includes the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant, which came under fire late Saturday. Each side accused the other of the attack.
Energoatom, operator of the Ukrainian nuclear power plant, said the Russian bombing destroyed three radiation monitoring devices around the spent nuclear fuel storage facility and one worker was injured. Russian news agencies, citing the management of the separatist-run factory, said that the Ukrainian forces fired those shells.
Russian forces occupied the power plant for months. Energoatom reported that Russian soldiers had taken shelter there in bunkers before Saturday’s attack.
Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, recently warned that the way the plant is run and the fighting around it poses serious health and environmental threats.
During the last four months of the war, Russia focused on capturing the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Moscow separatists held some territory as self-proclaimed republics for eight years. Russian forces made incremental advances in the region as they launched missile and missile attacks to limit the movements of Ukrainian fighters elsewhere.
The Russians “continue to stockpile large quantities of military equipment” in a town across the Dnieper River from Russian-controlled Kherson, according to the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington think tank. Citing Ukrainian local officials, she said the preparations appeared to be designed to defend the city’s logistical routes and set up defensive positions on the river’s left bank.
Kherson came under Russian control early in the war and Ukrainian officials pledged to take it back. It is located just 227 kilometers (141 miles) from Odessa, home to Ukraine’s largest port, so the escalating conflict there could have repercussions for the international grain deal.
The city of Mykolaiv, a shipbuilding center bombarded by Russian forces daily, is closer to Odessa. The governor of the Mykolaiv region, Vitaly Kim, said that an industrial facility on the outskirts of the regional capital was bombed early Sunday.
The region’s governor Serhiy Hayday reported that five civilians were killed over the past day by Russian and separatist fire on cities in the Donetsk region, a part of Donbass still under Ukrainian control.
He and Ukrainian government officials have repeatedly urged civilians to evacuate.
Andrew Wilkes contributed reporting from Istanbul.