By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent, Worthy News Radio
KYIV/MOSCOW (Worthy News) – The first grain ship to depart Ukraine since Russia invaded the country in February arrived at Turkey’s Bosphorus strait, leaving behind a wartorn nation where a food tycoon was killed.
The Razoni, which carried 26,000 tonnes of corn, prepared to be inspected Wednesday morning before continuing its journey to Lebanon.
Russia has been blockading Ukraine’s ports since it invaded in February, intensifying global food shortages.
Ukraine said its naval vessels would guide cargo ships through waters that have been mined.
In his usual evening address on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he wanted to see grain exports become regular again. “Our goal now is to have regularity: so that when one ship leaves the port, there are other ships as well – both those loading and those approaching the port,” he said.
One of Ukraine’s wealthiest businessmen was killed with his wife in “massive” Russian shelling of the southern city of Mykolaiv.
Oleksiy Vadatursky, 74, and his wife Raisa died when a missile hit their home overnight, local officials said. Vadatursky owned Nibulon, a company involved in grain exports. He had also received the “Hero of Ukraine” award.
Mykolaiv mayor Oleksandr Senkevych said it was probably the heaviest Russian bombardment of the city so far.
There was also damage to a hotel, a sports complex, two schools, and a service station, as well as homes.
Mykolaiv, on the main route to Odesa, Ukraine’s biggest port on the Black Sea, has repeatedly asked for mediation from Russia, which launched its invasion on 24 February.
The region’s leader, Vitaliy Kim, said Vadatursky’s “contribution to the development of the agricultural and shipbuilding industry, the region’s development is invaluable.”
An adviser to President Zelensky’s office said he believed Russia had deliberately targeted the businessman.
Mykhailo Podolyak said one of the missiles had hit the businessman’s bedroom, adding that this left “no doubt” it had been guided.
Nibulon has built many storage facilities and other infrastructure for exporting grain. Ukraine and Russia are significant exporters of wheat and other grains, and the disruption of exports caused by the war has sent food prices soaring worldwide.
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