Russia attacks Odesa with drones and missiles
Russian forces targeted Odesa Oblast with Iranian-made drones and missiles at 1.00 a.m. local time.
The city was repeatedly attacked by Kalibr cruise missiles, Kh-22 missiles, and Shahed drones. According to preliminary information, no casualties or damages to civilian and critical infrastructure have been reported.
Today's attack followed yesterday's "revenge strike" on Odesa, which injured one person. Odesa continues to take fire as Russia blames Ukraine for the explosions on the Crimean Bridge.
Odesa Oblast, bordering the Black Sea in southern Ukraine, regularly suffers from Russian missile attacks launched from the Black Sea.
Russia threatens all ships heading to Ukrainian ports after midnight
Russia will consider all ships, regardless of flag, heading to Ukrainian ports from midnight on 20 July as involved in a military conflict.
The Russian Defence Ministry reported that informational warnings were issued about the withdrawal of safety guarantees to seafarers in connection with the termination of the Black Sea Grain Initiative.
"On 17 July, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation announced that the termination of the 'grain initiative' means the withdrawal of shipping safety guarantees, as well as the curtailment of the maritime humanitarian corridor and the closure of the Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) in Istanbul," Russian media reported.
"From 00:00 Moscow time on 20 July, all vessels traveling to Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea will be considered potential carriers of military cargo," the report reads.
The Defence Ministry also stated, "the flag countries of such ships will be considered involved in the Ukrainian conflict on the side of Kyiv."
Background: Russia withdrew from the Black Sea Grain Initiative on 18 July.
Russians destroyed 60,000 tonnes of grain in Chornomorsk port
As a result of recent Russian attacks on infrastructure in Odesa Oblast, 60,000 tonnes of grain were destroyed in the port of Chornomorsk.
Mykola Solskyi, Minister of Agrarian Policy of Ukraine reported that Russia has once again resorted to attacks on port infrastructure and grain terminals in Odesa and Chornomorsk, which were involved in the functioning of the Black Sea Grain Initiative.
In the port of Chornomorsk, 60,000 tonnes of grain were destroyed, which was to be loaded onto a large cargo vessel and shipped through the Black Sea Grain Corridor 60 days ago.
Much of the grain export infrastructure of the port of Chornomorsk was also put out of action. Experts have estimated that it will take at least a year to restore the affected facilities fully.
Solskyi added that the grain infrastructure of international and Ukrainian traders and carriers Kernel, Viterra and CMA CGM Group suffered the most.
The minister has pointed out once again that if Ukraine cannot export food, the population of the poorest countries will be on the verge of survival. In addition, the global economy will suffer.
The price of grain will increase, and not all countries can afford to buy agricultural products, which means that the price of food will increase significantly: flour, grains, meat," - the Minister said.
Russian Agents, Who Were Going to Blow up Trains with Aid for Ukraine, Exposed in Poland
Russian agents who were allegedly planning to sabotage trains with weapons and humanitarian aid to Ukraine have been exposed in Poland.
According to Gazeta Polska, citing sources, the uncovered Russian network, including its 66 case volumes, had plans to sabotage trains carrying weapons and humanitarian aid for Ukraine.
The risk of direct attacks prompted the Polish special services to initiate arrests. "For this reason, the first arrests were made precisely then, not any other. The risk of attacks was too significant to continue monitoring the group's actions," shared an anonymous source familiar with the case materials.
Journalists also learned that the intelligence network was relatively "fresh" as it was created in early 2023.
The agents reportedly were instructed directly from Moscow and were compensated mainly in cryptocurrencies for executing assigned tasks.
This exposed network is currently considered the largest in modern Polish history.
In March, Poland announced the liquidation of a spy network operating in favor of Russia. Nine individuals were initially arrested for the operation, later increasing to 15. According to media reports, among them were citizens of Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine.
The fifteenth individual arrested was a professional Russian hockey player.