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Ukraine drove the Russians out of part of the Black Sea. The grain is flowing, the world can breathe a sigh of relief

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Ukraine managed to resume grain exports through the Black Sea, thanks to, among other things, the armed forces that regained control over the western part of the waters in this water area – said the BBC. According to the British Ministry of Defense, the capacity of Ukraine's Black Sea ports “has almost certainly reached higher levels than at any time during Russia's armed invasion of Ukraine.”

In August 2023, the port of… Odessa left the first ship whose safety was solely guaranteed Ukraine. At that time, the Ukrainian Navy announced that it had opened a temporary corridor that could be used by all civilian ships, including those in the ports of the Odessa Oblast that were blocked there after Russia withdrew from the grain agreement. The route was reported to the International Maritime Organization – recalled the Ukrainian section of the BBC in an analysis published at the beginning of May regarding grain exports.

In less than six months of this corridor's existence, it has become clear that it can bring much more to Ukraine international grain initiative – added in the publication.

Over a thousand ships passed through

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As of March this year, over 1,100 ships passed through the corridor and exported 33.8 million tons of cargo, of which 23.1 million tons were products of Ukrainian farmers.

The BBC notes that such results were achieved not only thanks to the creation of the corridor, but also thanks to the UNITY ship insurance program created together with the British government, the expansion of logistics capabilities at the borders with Romania and Moldova and improving conditions for transporting goods by rail to Danube ports.

Bulk carrier in the port of Odessa. Photo from April 2023 PAP/UKRINFORM

“Corridor of the Ukrainian Armed Forces”

The resumed trade route along the Black Sea is often called the “Ukrainian armed forces corridor” because they managed to regain control over the western part of Ukraine's waters in the Black Sea – writes the BBC.

After a series of attacks by Ukrainian forces on Russian ships in the Black Sea, the Russian fleet partially “evacuated” from the annexed Crimea. The ships were withdrawn, among others. from Sevastopol Bay. Representatives of military intelligence in Kiev explained that the ships were being transferred to the port of Novorossiysk.

Last year, the US Institute for War Studies recorded approximately 200 attacks using airborne drones, sea drones and missiles on facilities in Crimea. About 60 percent of them took place in the western part of the peninsula, where there are bases of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, military airports, missile launchers and radars.

Ukrainian expert and head of the Institute of Black Sea Strategic Research, Andriy Klymenko, explained to journalists that these attacks were aimed “primarily at protecting the shipping system.” Permission for the passage of civilian ships is issued by the Ukrainian army after assessing the situation at sea and in the air.

A column of smoke in the area of ​​Belbek airport. The commander of the Ukrainian Air Force publishes the recording Mykola Ołeszczuk/Telegram

Analysis of the British ministry

In April this year, Ukrainian exports of grain and oilseeds reached 6.6 million tons, which is the highest level since the beginning of the war with Russia. This shows Ukraine's ability to export through the corridor it has created in the Black Sea, said the British Ministry of Defense on Wednesday.

In its daily intelligence update, the ministry said that the capacity of Ukraine's Black Sea ports has almost certainly reached higher levels than at any time during the armed invasion, including during the period of operation grain agreement with Russia and Ukraine, concluded with the mediation of Turkey and the UN. In April this year, Ukraine exported approximately 5.2 million tons of grain and oilseeds through Black Sea ports, while at the peak of the agreement, in October 2022, it was 4.2 million tons.

The British ministry estimated that the Ukrainian maritime corridor since its creation in August 2023 has enabled approximately 1,600 ship trips and the export of approximately 45 million tons of cargo. Most of this was agricultural products, of which over 30 million tonnes were shipped during this nine-month period, and the rest was mainly iron ore and steel products, which were not yet possible to export by sea.

“Supplies from Ukraine are most likely crucial for global food security,” the study said.

Main photo source: PAP/UKRINFORM

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