The Russian Defence Ministry cited an alleged Ukrainian drone attack on Saturday against Russia’s Black Sea Fleet ships moored off the coast of occupied Crimea as the reason for the move.

Sevastopol is the largest city in Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
Sevastopol is the largest city in Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014. (Reuters)

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Russia has suspended its participation in the deal to export Ukrainian grain, following attacks on its Black Sea Fleet, the Russian Defence Ministry said.

This came “in the light of the recent events connected to the terrorist attacks against ships of the Black Sea Fleet," a ministry statement said.

In a separate statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry accused the Ukrainian armed forces of using the humanitarian corridor to carry out attacks at Russia's military base and the Black Sea Fleet.

“In connection with the actions of the Ukrainian armed forces, led by British specialists, including against Russian ships that ensure the functioning of the relevant humanitarian corridor (which can only be classified as a terrorist attack), the Russian side cannot guarantee the safety of civilian dry cargo ships participating in the Black Sea initiative and is suspending its implementation indefinitely from today,” the Russian statement said.

Russia, Ukraine confirm another exchange of prisoners

Russia and Ukraine confirmed they exchanged more prisoners of war.

Russia Russian Defence Ministry statement said that 50 Russian servicemen were released and added that they will be transported to Moscow by military transport planes, where they will undergo treatment and rehabilitation in medical institutions of the Russian Defense Ministry.

In a separate statement, Andriy Yermak, the head of Ukraine's presidential administration, said 52 officers, medics, sergeants, and soldiers have returned home thanks to the prisoner exchange with Russia.

Russian navy 'repels' drone attack on Crimea's Sevastopol port 

The Russian navy has thwarted a drone attack on the Sevastopol port, home to Moscow's Black Sea Fleet in Russia-annexed Crimea, Moscow-allied authorities said.

"Today, starting at 04:30 am for several hours, various air defence systems in Sevastopol repelled drone attacks," Sevastopol governor Mikhail Razvozhayev said on Telegram on Saturday. "All UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) have been shot down."

The governor said the city's services were on "alert", but said no "civilian infrastructure" had been damaged. A student dormitory at an art college near the port saw "one windowpane burst" but "no harm was done", he added.

Russia eyes US nuclear bombs in Europe

Russia, in its military planning, will take into account the modernisation of US nuclear bombs deployed in Europe, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko has said.

"We cannot ignore the plans to modernise nuclear weapons, those free-fall bombs that are in Europe," RIA news agency cited Grushko as saying. 

"The United States is modernising them, increasing their accuracy and reducing the power of the nuclear charge, that is, they turn these weapons into 'battlefield weapons', thereby reducing the nuclear threshold."

Earlier this week, Politico, citing a US diplomatic cable and two people familiar with the issue, reported that the US had accelerated the deployment of its modernised B61-12 tactical nuclear weapons to NATO bases in Europe.

UN seeks grain deal extension 

The United Nations has urged parties to the Black Sea grain deal that allowed a resumption of Ukraine's grain exports to renew the pact beyond mid-November, saying it was needed to contribute to global food security.

It also called for the full implementation of a related agreement to ensure grain and fertiliser from Russia also reach global markets.

"We underline the urgency of doing so to contribute to food security across the world, and to cushion the suffering that this global cost-of-living crisis is inflicting on billions of people," UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

Under the July 22 agreement, Ukraine was able to restart its Black Sea grain and fertiliser exports, which had stalled when Russia invaded its neighbour on February 24. Ankara played a crucial role in the export deal, which was initially agreed for 120 days.

Ukraine braces for more power cuts

Four million people across Ukraine have been hit by power cuts due to Russia's bombing campaign, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said, as officials in the capital Kiev warned of "unprecedented" outages.

Zelenskyy was speaking hours after Russia said it had completed its call-up of 300,000 reservists to fight there.

"About 4 million Ukrainians face restrictions now" from the rolling blackouts, he said. "We are doing everything so that the state has the opportunity to reduce such blackouts."

Zelenskyy accuses Russia of stealing medical supplies

Russian forces in the occupied Ukrainian region of Kherson are engaged in mass theft of medical equipment and ambulances in a bid to make the area uninhabitable, President Zelenskyy has said.

"The occupiers have decided to close down medical institutions in towns, take away medical equipment, ambulances, everything. They are putting pressure on doctors who still remain... to move to the territory of Russia," he said.

"Russia is trying to make the Kherson region a no man's land," he added in a video address, saying pro-Moscow forces realised they could not hold onto the city and were therefore taking what they could.

For live updates from Friday (October 28), click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies