Russia ends deal to export grain from Ukraine after one of its ships is damaged by drone attack
Vladimir Putin has pulled out of an internationally-brokered deal to export grain after ‘inventing a story’ that the British Navy blew up the Nordstream gas supply pipeline and attacked Russian ships with suicide drones near Crimea.
The Ministry of Defence today accused the Russian president of fabricating stories to ‘detract from the disastrous handling of the illegal invasion of Ukraine’, adding that the Kremlin is ‘peddling false claims of an epic scale’ after massive explosions rocked a key Crimean port.
The attacks saw Russia end the ‘grain corridor’ in retaliation after claiming that the ships that were targeted by Ukraine forces were involved in the deal to allow grain exports.
But Russia’s decision to end the deal comes amid fears that Putin has been searching for an excuse to pull out and plunge third world countries into famine as part of efforts to ramp up his faltering invasion. The country has also recently criticised the deal, saying its own grain exports have suffered due to Western sanctions.
Meanwhile, the MoD today said: ‘To detract from their disastrous handling of the illegal invasion of Ukraine, the Russian Ministry of Defence is resorting to peddling false claims of an epic scale.
‘This invented story, says more about arguments going on inside the Russian Government than it does about the west.’
The Turkey and UN-brokered deal to unlock grain exports signed between Russia and Ukraine in July is critical to easing the global food crisis caused by the conflict.
The agreement had already allowed more than nine million tonnes of Ukrainian grain to be exported and was due to be renewed on November 19.
In an earlier statement, Russia’a defence ministry said: ‘In light of the terrorist act carried out by the Kyiv regime with the participation of British experts against ships of the Black Sea fleet and civilian vessels involved in the security of grain corridors, Russia suspends its participation in the implementation of the agreement on the export of agricultural products from Ukrainian ports.’
The Kremlin has now requested a UN Security Council meeting on Monday following the attack.
The explosions of the Nord Stream pipelines in September caused four gas leaks. While the leaks were in international waters, two of them were in the Danish exclusive economic zone and two of them in the Swedish
Incredible video footage from a Ukrainian underwater drone appears to show the Russian Black Sea flagship, Admiral Makarov
The exhilarating footage showed the underwater Ukrainian drone racing through the key naval port of Sevastopol – the largest city in Crimea
The underwater drones have been previously speculated as being involved in the explosion of the Kerch bridge in Crimea on October 8 – the day after Vladimir Putin’s birthday
Unconfirmed reports have suggested that frigate Admiral Makarov – the Black Sea Flagship – had been blown up (pictured)
Sevastopol in Moscow-annexed Crimea, which has been targeted several times in recent months, serves as the headquarters for the fleet and a logistical hub for operations in Ukraine.
Furious Moscow forces alleged British ‘specialists’, whom they said were based in the southern Ukrainian city of Ochakiv, had helped prepare and train Kyiv to carry out the strike.
In a further singling out of the UK – which Moscow sees as one of the most unfriendly Western countries – Russia said the same British unit was involved in explosions on the Nord Stream gas pipelines last month. A claim refuted by British officials.
Extraordinary footage has emerged showing Russian troops on board firing wildly at the drone as it races towards what is believed to be the Admiral Makarov frigate, which replaced the Moskva as the Black Sea Fleet’s flagship.
The underwater Ukrainian drone can be seen racing through the key naval port of Sevastopol – the largest city in Crimea – while panicking Russian troops on ships and helicopters attempt to destroy it.
The exhilarating footage taken from a camera within the drone shows the underwater weapon riding through the waves and dodging bullets which can be seen penetrating the surface.
A helicopter can then be seen racing into shot as desperate Russians attempt to respond before it continues to fire at the maritime drone.
The underwater drones have been previously speculated as being involved in the explosion of the Kerch bridge in Crimea on October 8 – the day after Vladimir Putin’s birthday. In response to the bridge blast, Putin unleashed a barrage of missile strikes across Ukraine, striking civilian centres.
Mikhail Razvozhayev, the Moscow-installed governor of Sevastopol, said the drone attack was the ‘most massive’ the peninsula had seen. The city’s services were on ‘alert’, but he claimed no ‘civilian infrastructure’ had been damaged.
City authorities said that the harbour was ‘temporarily’ closed to boats and ferries and urged people “not to panic”.
Attacks on Crimea, annexed by Moscow in 2014, have increased in recent weeks, as Kyiv presses a counter-offensive in the south to retake territory held by Moscow for months.
Moscow-installed authorities in Kherson, just north of Crimea, have vowed to turn the city into a fortress, preparing for an inevitable assault.
On Thursday, Razvozhayev said a thermal power station had been attacked in Balaklava, in the Sevastopol area. He claimed there was only minor damage and no casualties.
It comes on a day which has seen Russia seek revenge for a drone attack that hit Sevastopol in the early hours of the morning.
Russian Black Sea warships were forced to fight Kyiv forces in an attack that Russian Ministry of Defence branded a ‘terrorist attack’. Moscow claimed that they destroyed nine aerial drones and seven maritime drones.
Mikhail Razvozhayev, Russian governor of Sevastopol, said the attack in the early hours of the morning caused no damage to city infrastructure but later the Ministry of Defence conceded that at least one vessel sustained minor damage.
A second video showed a massive explosion after Ukrainian forces attacked the naval port in Crimea, sending Russia into disarray
The Russian Ministry of Defence conceded that at least one Russian vessel was damaged in the attacks – thought to be the flagship
Although Ukraine has not confirmed these attacks, Kyiv sources claim that several of the Russian ships from the fleet were blown up, including the frigate Admiral Makarov.
Before Russia halted the grain deal, the Ministry had threatened on Telegram: ‘It should be emphasised that the ships of the Black Sea Fleet that were subjected to the terrorist attack are involved in ensuring the security of the ‘grain corridor’ as part of an international initiative to export agricultural products from Ukrainian ports.’
Britain strongly rebutted claims they were involved, saying ‘the Russian Ministry of Defence is resorting to peddling false claims of an epic scale.’
The British defence ministry said that this ‘invented story says more about arguments going on inside the Russian Government than it does about the West’.
Earlier today Razvozhayev said: ‘Black Sea Fleet ships are fighting off a drone attack in Sevastopol Bay.’ he said.
‘No damage has been reported in the city. The situation is under control. All response services are at the ready.’
A student dormitory at an art college near the port saw ‘one windowpane burst’ but ‘no harm was done’, he added.
Residents claimed that the huge explosions ‘shook’ their homes and windows while black smoke was seen rising from the docks area.
Dramatic footage purportedly showed a Moscow attack helicopter destroying an ‘underwater drone’ in Omega Bay.
The video showed the helicopter hovering above the object in the water before it bursts into flames with smoke billowing out of it.
The underwater object thought to be a drone was said to be tailing a warship before it was reportedly destroyed by the Russian helicopter.
Missiles were fired from the helicopter which also unleashed volleys of machine gun fire.
Russian sources claimed its air defenced deployed from naval warships were forced to repel a sustained Ukrainian attack that started at 4.30am and lasted for at least five hours.
At least one Russian warship was damaged during a ‘massive’ Ukrainian drone assault as huge explosions rocked a key Crimean port, the Moscow Ministry of Defence revealed
Dramatic footage showed a Moscow attack helicopter destroying an ‘underwater drone’ in Omega Bay earlier this afternoon
The Kremlin has also blamed a US Global Hawk (RQ-4B) which ‘flew from Italy’ for flying over the Black Sea and monitoring Russian responses to the concerted Ukrainian onslaught.
All passenger ferry services were suspended in the strategic port which is the HQ of Putin’s Black Sea Fleet.
It marks what could be the most audacious attack so far by Ukraine on Russian naval assets in Sevastopol.
Earlier this week, Razvozhayev said that a drone had attacked a thermal power station near Sevastopol.
Meanwhile, the Russian fleet stationed in the port had also been attacked by a drone in July.
So far, attempts to verify Razvozhayev’s claims that no damage has been done have been unsuccessful.
The Russian statesman begged locals not to post footage of the attacks, claiming that it could aid the Kyiv regime.
‘A big request is not to write what-where-how much you saw and heard,’ he posted.
‘And do not upload videos. It should be clear to everyone that such data is very necessary for the UkroNazis in order to understand how the defence of our city is arranged.’
According to Ukrainian sources, several of the Russian ships from the fleet were blown up in the early hours of Saturday morning
Local media were reporting that rescuers in the late morning were still attempting to put out a fire on one of the ships
Plumes of smoke were visible after Ukrainian drone strikes in the middle of the night – Russia say they had to destroy nine drones and seven maritime drones
Massive explosions have been seen hitting a key naval port in annexed Crimea that Russia claim was targeted in a major Ukrainian drone assault
Mikhail Razvozhayev, Russian governor of Sevastopol, said: ‘No damage has been reported in the city.
However, this did not fail to prevent residents reporting the explosions that unfolded in the middle of the nights.
One resident reported: ‘Woke up at 4 a.m. to a massive explosion. Thank goodness it’s [our] air defences.
‘Our ships in Sevastopol Bay were repelling a drone attack.
‘It was a fun night, even very fun.’
Another stated: ‘Woke up to an explosion at 5:30am. Followed some time later by three more…’.
A third added: ‘Ten minutes ago three explosions sounded, and shook the house…’
Meanwhile, another comment said: ‘Woke up this morning to explosions.
‘Never heard anything like that before. It thundered so hard that the windows shook in the flat.’
The attack comes as Russia appears to have largely given up attacking Ukraine and has been forced on to the defensive after Putin’s military got mauled by Kyiv’s armies.
Earlier this week, Razvozhayev (pictured) said that a drone had attacked a thermal power station near Sevastopol
Russia also blamed a US Global Hawk (RQ-4B) which ‘flew from Italy’ for flying over the Black Sea and monitoring Russian responses to the concerted Ukrainian onslaught
Russian troops have been forced on to the defensive across almost the entire frontline in Ukraine after Putin’s army was mauled, British intelligence said yesterday
Severely undermanned and poorly trained Russian units have stopped advancing across most of the front line in the last six weeks, British intelligence said yesterday.
Ukrainian forces advance in both the north and south of the country – pushing east from Kharkiv into Luhansk and advancing towards Kherson.
In Kherson, companies of soldiers which should consist of 100 men were fighting with just six to eight troops each, Ministry of Defence analysts added.
While Putin is attempting to bolster these units with conscripted troops, Russia is unlikely to be able to resume its offensive in the near future.
Earlier this week, it had appeared that Russia was preparing to withdraw from Kherson city but Ukraine now believes Putin is actually reinforcing it.
Kyrylo Budanov, head of Ukraine’s military intelligence service, said earlier this week that Russia has been evacuating civilians but is moving military reinforcements into urban areas, preparing defences, and plans to fight for the city.
He added that the evacuation and talk of a retreat by Russia’s top commander may have been an effort to lure Ukraine into a costly urban battle.