- The governor said that a Ukrainian drone had hit a Russian base on the Black Sea
- Russia hit Mykolaiv and killed the source and his wife
- Zelensky says the grain harvest may be halved because of the war
- Zelensky orders the evacuation of Donetsk
- The International Committee of the Red Cross condemns Friday the attack on Ukrainian prisoners of war
Kyiv (Reuters) – Heavy Russian strikes hit the southern Ukrainian port city of Mykolaiv early Sunday, killing the owner of one of the country’s largest grain exporters, while Russia said a Ukrainian drone struck the headquarters of its Black Sea fleet in Sevastopol.
Vitaly Kim, the governor of Mykolaiv, said in a Telegram that Oleksiy Vadatorsky, founder and owner of the agricultural company Nipolon, and his wife were killed in their home.
The headquarters is located in Mykolaiv, a city of strategic importance located on the border of the occupied Kherson region, Nipolon specializes in the production and export of wheat, barley and corn, has its own fleet and shipyard.
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President Volodymyr Zelensky called Vadotorsky’s death “a great loss for the whole of Ukraine,” saying the businessman was building a modern grain market that included a network of freight stations and elevators.
“It was these people, these companies, precisely southern Ukraine, who ensured food security for the world,” Zelensky later said in his nightly speech. “It has always been this way. And it will be so again.”
He added that Ukraine’s social and industrial potential, “our people, our capabilities, are certainly stronger than any Russian missiles or missiles.”
Three people were also wounded in the attacks on Mykolaiv, city mayor Oleksandr Senkevich told Ukrainian television, adding that 12 missiles hit homes and educational facilities. He had earlier described the strikes as “perhaps the strongest” on the city during the five-month-old war.
Dnipropetrovsk Governor Valentin Reznichenko wrote on Telegram that up to 50 Grad rockets hit residential areas in the southern city of Nikopol on Sunday morning. One person was injured.
Naval strike today
The governor of the city of Crimea, Mikhail Razvogayev, told Russian media that Ukrainian forces bombed the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Russian-controlled Sevastopol in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Five employees were injured in the attack when what was supposed to be a drone flew into the headquarters’ yard, he said, adding that Ukraine had decided to “spoil the Navy’s day for us”. Read more
Reuters could not independently verify the battlefield reports.
The Sevastopol attack coincided with Russian Navy Day, which President Vladimir Putin celebrated by announcing that the Navy would receive what he called “enormous” high-speed Zircon cruise missiles in the coming months. These missiles can travel at over nine times the speed of sound. Read more
He made no mention of the conflict in Ukraine during a speech after the signing of a new naval doctrine that made the United States Russia’s main rival and outlined Russia’s global maritime ambitions for important regions such as the Arctic and the Black Sea.
Putin sent tens of thousands of troops across the border on February 24, sparking a conflict that killed thousands, displaced millions and severely strained relations between Russia and the West.
The biggest conflict in Europe since World War II has also fueled an energy and food crisis that is shaking the global economy. Both Ukraine and Russia are major suppliers of grain.
The crop can be cut
Zelensky said on Sunday that his country could harvest only half the usual amount this year due to the invasion.
“Ukraine’s crop this year is threatened to fall twice,” Zelensky wrote in English on Twitter, indicating half of what is usual. “Our main goal is to prevent the global food crisis caused by the Russian invasion. Grain is still finding a way to deliver it instead,” he added.
Ukraine has struggled to get its products to buyers through its Black Sea ports because of the war.
But the agreement signed under the auspices of the United Nations and Turkey on July 22 provides for safe passage for ships carrying grain from three ports in southern Ukraine.
A spokesman for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that there is a high probability that the first grain-exporting ship will leave the ports of Ukraine on Monday. Read more
On Sunday, Zelensky said that Russia had moved some troops from the eastern Donbass region to the southern Kherson and Zaporizhzhya regions.
“But this will not help them there. None of the Russian strikes will pass without a response from our army and intelligence officers.”
But Zelensky said on Saturday that hundreds of thousands of people were still being subjected to heavy fighting in the Donbass region, which includes the Donetsk and Luhansk regions that Russia seeks to fully control. Vast areas of the Donbass were captured before the invasion by Russian-backed separatists.
Russia said on Sunday it had invited experts from the United Nations and the Red Cross to investigate the deaths of dozens of Ukrainians held by Moscow-backed separatists.
Ukraine and Russia traded accusations over a missile attack or explosion early on Friday that appeared to kill Ukrainian prisoners of war in the frontline town of Olenivka in eastern Donetsk.
The Russian Defense Ministry had published a list of 50 Ukrainian prisoners of war who were killed and 73 wounded in what it said was a Ukrainian military strike with US-made artillery.
Ukraine’s armed forces denied responsibility, saying that Russian artillery attacked the prison to cover up abuse there.
The International Committee of the Red Cross on Sunday condemned the attack and said it had not yet received permission to visit the site, adding that it was not its job to publicly investigate alleged war crimes. Read more
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Reporting by Reuters offices Writing by Lincoln Fest, William MacLean and David Lauder Editing by William Mallard, Frances Kerry and Thomas Janowski
Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.