According to Ukrainian and Turkish officials, a ship carrying grain departed the Ukrainian port of Odesa for Lebanon on Monday under a safe passage arrangement, the first departure since the Russian invasion halted trade via the Black Sea five months ago.
The foreign minister of Ukraine referred to it as "a day of relief for the world,", particularly for nations threatened by food shortages and famine due to halted supplies.
Last month, Turkey and the United Nations facilitated a grain-and-fertilizer export agreement between Russia and Ukraine, making the voyage possible.
"The first grain ship since #RussianAggression has left port," Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov stated. "Today Ukraine, together with its partners, makes another step to prevent world hunger."
The Turkish defense minister previously stated that the Razoni would sail to Lebanon under the flag of Sierra Leone.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24 has caused a global food and energy crisis, and the United Nations has warned that several famines may occur this year.
Russia and Ukraine export roughly one-third of the world's wheat. However, Western sanctions against Russia and fighting along the eastern coast of Ukraine have stopped grain cargoes from reaching ports securely.
The agreement intends to secure grain shipments into and out of Odessa, Chornomorsk, and Pivdennyi port.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted, "The day of relief for the world, especially for our friends in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, as the first Ukrainian grain leaves Odesa after months of Russian blockade."
Moscow has denied culpability for the food crisis, blaming slowed exports on Western sanctions and Ukraine's mined port approaches.
The Razoni will anchor in the Bosphorus off the coast of Istanbul on Tuesday afternoon and will be inspected by a joint team of Russian, Ukrainian, United Nations, and Turkish representatives, according to Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar.
Akar stated, "It will then continue as long as no problems arise,"
According to Ukrainian presidential officials, seventeen ships carrying about 600,000 tons of cargo, predominantly grain, have docked in Black Sea ports.
Kubrakov stated that other ships would follow. He said that unlocking the ports will generate at least $1 billion in foreign exchange earnings for the Ukrainian economy and allow the agriculture sector to plan to sow for next year.
The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv applauded the resumption of shipment, stating, "The world will be watching for continued implementation of this agreement to feed people around the world with millions of tons of trapped Ukrainian grain."
Bombardments in South and East
Despite the grain shipment breakthrough, the combat continued elsewhere.
In the past twenty-four hours, Russian shelling in the Donetsk area killed three civilians, two in Bakhmut and one in adjacent Soledar, according to regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko.
Russian forces have bombarded Bakhmut, an important industrial city, and transportation center, for the past week as they attempt to take all of Donetsk.
It is connected to the Russian-occupied cities of Lysychansk and Sievierodonetsk in the Luhansk area. Serhiy Gaidai, the governor of Luhansk, stated that the route was essential for sending weapons to Ukrainians fighting in Sievierodontsk and evacuating civilians from that region.
Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine and located near the Russian border, was also targeted by Russian airstrikes on Monday, according to regional governor Oleh Synegubov. He stated that two civilians were hurt.
Russia has been attempting to seize the Donbas area, consisting of the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk, since the beginning of the war, when it could not capture the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv immediately.
According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Russia has transferred some forces from the Donbas to the southern districts of Kherson and Zaporizhia.
Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, and Kyiv asserts that Moscow is now attempting to annex the Donbas and connect it to Crimea in the south. Parts of the territory were under the control of separatists backed by Russia before the invasion.
In what it termed a "special operation" to demilitarize its neighbor, Russia invaded Ukraine. The Ukraine and Western nations have denounced this as a justification for war without any basis.
Sunday, Russian missiles bombarded Mykolaiv, a port city on the delta of the River Bug near the Black Sea that borders the predominantly Russian-occupied Kherson area.
The mayor of Mykolaiv, Oleksandr Senkevych, stated that over a dozen missile strikes - presumably the most powerful on the city in the last five months of the war - struck residences and schools, resulting in two verified deaths and three injuries.
According to the governor of Mykolaiv, Oleksiy Vadatursky, founder and owner of the agribusiness enterprise Nibulon, and his wife were murdered in their house.
Zelensky stated that the businessman, one of the wealthiest in Ukraine, has been constructing a network of transshipment ports and elevators for a modern grain market.
In his evening message, Zelenskiy stated, "It is these people, these companies, precisely the south of Ukraine, which has guaranteed the world's food security," "It was always thus. And this will occur again."
Due to agricultural disruptions caused by the war, Zelenskiy stated that Ukraine might only harvest half of its standard yield this year. Farmers have reported harvesting between the Russian shelling of their farms and surrounding towns and villages.