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Ukraine War Updates: Russia Tightens Black Sea Blockade, Hits Port Cities And Practices Seizing Ships 

Ukraine War Updates: Russia Tightens Black Sea Blockade, Hits Port Cities And Practices Seizing Ships 

Ukrainian drones hit Crimea weapons depot, Russians advance in Kharkiv region.

After ending a deal that allowed Ukraine to ship grain though the Black Sea corridor, Russia is pounding the country’s southern port cities with drones and missiles. The Russian strikes along the Black Sea coast destroyed port facilities and grain terminals.

The Russian escalation, which began after Monday’s drone strike by Ukraine on a key bridge connecting occupied Crimea to mainland Russia earlier this week, is now playing out in the Black Sea where the Russians are carrying out drills to capture Ukrainian ships. The move could draw U.S. and NATO countries into a direct conflict with Russia as they continue to supply Kyiv with military and humanitarian aid.

“Russia pounded Ukrainian food export facilities for a fourth day in a row on Friday and practised seizing ships in the Black Sea,” Reuters reported. “Russia said its Black Sea fleet had practised firing rockets at ‘floating targets’ and it would deem all ships heading for Ukrainian waters to be potentially carrying arms.”

On Friday, the Associated Press reported the extent of Russian air strikes:

Russia followed its withdrawal from a grain export deal by expanding its attacks from port infrastructure to farm storage buildings in Ukraine’s Odesa region Friday, while also practicing a Black Sea blockade.

Other Russian missiles damaged what officials described only as an “important infrastructure facility” southwest of the port city of Odesa, in what appeared to be an effort to cripple Ukraine’s food exports. (…)

In the attack on the storage site, two low-flying cruise missiles started a blaze, then another struck during firefighting efforts, regional Gov. Oleh Kiper said. The barrage injured two people, damaged equipment and destroyed 100 metric tons (110 tons) of peas and 20 metric tons (22 tons) of barley, Kiper said.

Russia targeted Ukrainian critical grain export infrastructure after vowing to retaliate for what it said was a Ukrainian attack that damaged a crucial bridge between Russia and the Moscow-annexed Crimean Peninsula.

Russia’s declaration to treat the Ukrainian civilian shipping sector as a potential military target is already having an impact on the global food prices. Ukraine is one of the world’s largest grain producers.

“Wheat prices have risen sharply on global markets after Russia said it would treat ships heading for Ukrainian ports as potential military targets,” the BBC reported Friday. “Wheat prices on the European stock exchange soared by 8.2% on Wednesday from the previous day, to €253.75 (£220; $284) per tonne, while corn prices were up 5.4%.”

Battlefield updates: Ukraine hits Crimea weapons depot, Russians advance in Kharkiv

Meanwhile, the war in eastern Ukraine continues—with both side claiming military successes. Ukraine on Saturday hit a Russian arms depot in Crimea. “A Ukrainian drone attack on Moscow-annexed Crimea caused the ‘detonation’ of an ammunition depot Saturday, the Moscow-installed leader of the peninsula said, ordering the evacuation of people living within five kilometres of the attack and halting rail traffic,” the French news agency AFP reported.

The strike on the weapons depot alarmed the occupying Russian authorities in Crimea. The recently damaged bridge that connects the peninsula to mainland Russia has been closed. “A drone attack on an ammunition depot in Crimea has led to civilian evacuations and disrupted transport, Russian authorities have said,” the BBC reported Saturday. “Rail services across the Kerch bridge have also reportedly been halted.”

Russian forces appear to be gaining some ground in the Kharkiv region, an area they abandoned during the Ukrainian counteroffensive in the summer of 2022. “As Ukraine’s counteroffensive makes slow progress in the south and southeast, it’s the Russians who’ve gone on the attack in the northeastern Kharkiv region,” the public broadcaster France24 reported Friday. “In recent days Russian forces have advanced by a kilometre or more towards the Ukrainian-held town of Kupyansk.”


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Mauiobserver | July 22, 2023 at 6:14 pm

This can’t be true as the MSM told us months ago that as soon as the ground dried in late Spring that with the new western supplied armor backed up with the latest rapid-fire artillery that Ukraine would launch a massive counterattack. The results of this attack would be to drive out the remaining Russian forces from the Donbas and Crimea. It would be relatively easy as the Russian military had already suffered horrendous casualties and moral had collapsed.

    Suburban Farm Guy in reply to Mauiobserver. | July 22, 2023 at 6:49 pm

    And so now, cluster bombs are the Left’s newest rehabilitated war crime. Nice to be so flexible

      Lucifer Morningstar in reply to Suburban Farm Guy. | July 22, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      But . . . but . . . Zelenskyy promised not to use them against civilians and that’d he’d allow the United States to clean up his mess when he was done. Really, he did. And we all know we can trust Zelenskyy to keep his promises, right? Right?? Right?!?!

        CommoChief in reply to Lucifer Morningstar. | July 23, 2023 at 8:17 am

        There are already reports (disputed) of cluster munitions being deployed v Russian village just across the border. Supposedly a handful of journalists got hit in the attack. More confirmation needed IMO.

        Given that Ukraine already transferred NATO supplied equipment and munitions for a cross border attack earlier (despite assurances they would not do so) it would fit the pattern.

          Lucifer Morningstar in reply to CommoChief. | July 23, 2023 at 8:37 am

          There are already reports (disputed) of cluster munitions being deployed v Russian village just across the border. Supposedly a handful of journalists got hit in the attack. More confirmation needed IMO.

          Gee, what a surprise. Not even a month after getting cluster munitions and despite his promise Zelenskyy is using them against civilian targets. Expect Russia to escalate their use of the same, and worse, now that the kid’s gloves are off. People think it’s bad now? We ain’t seen nothing yet.

          Oh, and if you expect any “confirmation” that Zelenskyy has bombed journalists with cluster munitions don’t hold your breath. I fully expect the media to blame Russia if it actually gets out that Zelenskyy used cluster munitions on civilians. The cover-up continues apace and we’ll never really know what’s going on in ukraine.

          CommoChief in reply to CommoChief. | July 23, 2023 at 12:22 pm

          Expect? Nah, the lapdog legacy media will paddle whatever talking points Kirby hands out from his globalist neocon masters. I would like to have more to go on than each belligerent Nations press releases. Those can be ignored as can the press releases of the Nations handing either side arms, equipment or munitions.

          Pity the Swiss joined in. Not sure who can fill the void as an honest, neutral observer and reporter of facts v self serving propaganda.

          GravityOpera in reply to CommoChief. | July 23, 2023 at 6:40 pm

          I searched for Russian journalists killed by cluster munitions and the only incident claimed, including by Russian sources, is one killed and another couple wounded near Pyatykhatky which is a Ukrainian village near the front lines.

      Russia has been using cluster bombs since day one.

      GravityOpera in reply to Suburban Farm Guy. | July 23, 2023 at 3:07 am

      The use of cluster munitions is not a war crime. Russia, Ukraine, and the USA are not signatories to that treaty.

      The video clip of Psaki answering a question about cluster munitions and war crimes said that their use POTENTIALLY could be a war crime IF DELIBERATELY USED AGAINST CIVILIANS.

    With progress in Ukraine like this, Biden is sure to be enjoying a victory in the war before the November 2024 election. Nothing like his Inflation Reduction Act to deal with a little more food inflation. /s

    GravityOpera in reply to Mauiobserver. | July 23, 2023 at 3:28 am

    Thanks to Biden’s clear mind, long-term strategic understanding, and moral courage Ukraine has been well armed with ATACMS, F-16s, as many Abrams as there were MBTs deployed against Saddam in Desert Storm, received cluster munitions months ago when they would have been perfect for defending Bakhmut, and everything else needed to win quickly. /s

    Despite Biden’s “damn them with faint praise” supply strategy Ukraine is still steadily recovering territory and shaping the battlefield to maintain or increase their rate of advance. The damage to the Kerch Bridge is a perfect example though it should have been permanently destroyed over a year ago, but Biden is too cowardly to help that happen.

Mauiobserver | July 22, 2023 at 7:12 pm

Only right-wing reactionaries can fail to see that Biden/Obama is in fact the new FDR.

The regime loan forgiveness, reparations and massive wealth transfers from the middle class to favored intersectional tribes the regime will vastly outperform the New Deal.

With this leadership the WWII victories will pale in comparison to the great accomplishments of destroying the Ukraine for the noble goal of capturing the resources of Ukraine and Russia for Globalists billionaires and bureaucrats to plunder for the New Liberal World Order.

    GravityOpera in reply to Mauiobserver. | July 23, 2023 at 3:33 am

    FDR loved “Uncle Joe” and screwed us and the rest of the world long term by assisting Russia instead of opposing them. Biden’s initial response was to just get Zelenskyy out and let Russia conquer yet more of Eastern Europe which is quite consistent with FDR’s philosophy.

Destroyed an oil depot? Maybe, but not in that video. I saw a bigger plume of black smoke when my neighbor accidentally burned his 10×12 shed. It seems like an oil depot should make more than that.

    henrybowman in reply to Dathurtz. | July 22, 2023 at 10:03 pm

    The video pales in comparison to the unscheduled fireworks show at Bill’s propane two days ago, next to the Phoenix airport.

The DC swamp instigated this war. If Russian nukes DC, can we be angry at them?

Stopping the march to WW3 is a major part of one candidate’s platform. Just recently, Russia detained British diplomats from traveling. Not to mention the cluster bombs. Time to stop the death and destruction, first and foremost. Doesn’t seem like that’s a priority for the powers that be.

Russia is a terrorist state.

GravityOpera | July 23, 2023 at 3:03 am

“The Russian escalation, which began after Monday’s drone strike by Ukraine on a key bridge…”
This isn’t an escalation. Russia has been targeting civilians all along. Last winter they were trying to destroy Ukraine’s electrical infrastructure not to mention Bucha, the dams they’re destroyed, screwing with the ZNPP, and so much more.

You are right that this is Russia throwing a temper tantrum because (s)a legitimate and extremely valuable military target was partially damaged(/s) Putin’s ego was hurt.