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Media: Grain, metal shipments from Ukraine at risk after Putin orders jets with hypersonic missiles to patrol Black Sea

Ships grain corridor Black Sea
Ships await grain loading in Black Sea ports in July 2023. Photo: Ministry of Infrastructure
Media: Grain, metal shipments from Ukraine at risk after Putin orders jets with hypersonic missiles to patrol Black Sea

More than 30 vessels have called at ports in the Greater Odesa area since the first inbound vessel sailed through a new shipping corridor in the Black Sea in mid-September in defiance of a threat of Russian attacks, according to Bloomberg.

Dmytro Solomchuk, a lawmaker on the Ukrainian parliament’s agriculture committee, said that their cargoes included some 1 million tons of grain. That indicates that Kyiv is reclaiming some control of exports from its Black Sea ports.

Ukraine set up its temporary route from ports after Russia exited a safe corridor deal backed by the United Nations and Türkiye in July 2023. While the number of ships is growing, the risks of Russian attacks remain unchanged.

On 18 October, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he’s ordered MiG-31 aircraft armed with Kinzhal missiles to begin over the Black Sea.

Earlier, Vadym Skibitsky, Deputy Head of the Main Directorate of Intelligence said Russia was producing two Kinzhals a month despite international sanctions.

Historical first: Ukraine confirms shooting down Kinzhal hypersonic missile with Patriot SAM

On 4 May, Ukraine’s air defense intercepted the missiles designed to hit NATO warships, missile defense systems, and other high-value targets by the 1990s-era Patriot PAC-3 system over Kyiv.

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