Live Updates: Russia’s War in Ukraine

The United States has information that the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet « has been ordered to effectively blockade the Ukrainian ports of Odessa and Ochakiv, » a US official told CNN, citing this which was described as recently declassified information.

According to this official, this intelligence also revealed indications that Russian forces are deploying mines in the Black Sea and have already mined the Dnipro River.

Western officials have accused Moscow of « militarising » the food supply as leaders and experts warn of a looming food crisis with millions of tonnes of Ukrainian grain unable to reach the world market due to war.

« We can confirm that despite Russia’s public assertions that it is not mining the northwest Black Sea, Russia is in fact deploying mines in the Black Sea near Ochakiv, » CNN told Thursday. the American official.

The Guardian first reported on the findings of the recently declassified intelligence.

Moscow has claimed it does not impede agricultural shipments of Ukraine and said Kyiv needed to clear the waters so ships could transit.

« The Russian Federation does not create any obstacles to the passage of ships or vessels. We do not prevent anything, » Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in early June.

In a call with reporters Thursday, Organized by the US State Department’s Regional Media Center for Africa, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said: « We should not accept the argument that it was Ukraine that blocked the sea ​​with its mines in order to prevent cargo or ships from entering. and out. »

« Russia was exploiting the sea. We were exploiting the sea to defend ourselves. The Russians were exploiting it to – not to allow – our ships to be destroyed, » he said. “The real question is what happens when the port is cleared. Who and how will guarantee that Russia will not abuse the open port and attack Odessa from the sea? the world is wondering: how do you make sure Russia doesn’t attack Odessa from the sea. »

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