Ukraine War: Grain warehouses hit again in Ukraine, ruble stabilized

Recent developments in the war in Ukraine.

Grain terminals in Ukraine were affected

Russia attacked grain terminals in Ukraine’s southern Odesa region on Wednesday, local officials said.

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They attacked storage facilities and ports along the Danube River that Kiev used heavily to transport grain to Europe after Moscow scrapped a wartime export deal through the Black Sea.

At the same time, after Russia’s full-scale invasion 17 months earlier, a loaded container ship was stuck in the port of Odessa and was making its way through the Black Sea to the Bosphorus on a temporary corridor established by Ukraine for commercial shipping.

Ukraine’s war-torn economy relies heavily on agriculture. Like Russia, its agricultural exports are important to world supplies of wheat, barley, sunflower oil and other foods that developing countries rely on.

After the Kremlin a month ago tore up a deal brokered by the UN and Turkey last summer to ensure safe Ukrainian grain exports via the Black Sea, Kiev sought to divert traffic to Europe via the Danube and road and rail links.

However, transport costs that way are too high, some European countries are reeling from the effects of local grain prices, and Danube ports cannot handle the volume of ports.

Odesa Governor Ole Kiper said the primary targets of Russia’s overnight drone bombing were port terminals and grain silos, including ports in the Danube Delta. According to the morning update of the Air Force of Ukraine, air defenses managed to intercept 13 drones in Odesa and Mykolaiv regions.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said the container ship departing from Odesa was the first since July 16. It has been stuck in Odessa since February 2022.

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Russia’s currency stable after bank intervention

The ruble was steady on Wednesday, a day after Russia’s central bank raised its key interest rate, amid concerns that inflation could rise again and the national currency slide.

In the morning on the Moscow stock market, it cost 96.9 rubles to buy a dollar and 106 rubles to buy a euro, prices stable since the start of trading.

The announcement of an emergency hike in the key rate from 8.5% to 12% had already reassured markets on Tuesday.

However, the situation before that was more delicate: on Monday, the ruble continued the free fall that began several weeks ago, trading above 100 to the dollar and 110 to the euro, the first time this has happened since March 2022. , when the Russian currency collapsed in the wake of the attack on Ukraine.

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In a note published on Wednesday, Alfa Bank’s analysts said it was “unlikely that a change in the key rate would have a lasting impact on the ruble rate,” the “limited” volumes currently traded on the Russian foreign exchange market.

Kyiv says it has been recapturedUrozain village

Ukraine said on Wednesday it had recaptured the southernmost village of Urosin in Donetsk region as part of its counteroffensive against Russia.

“Urozhaine has been freed. Our guards have been installed nearby. The attack continues,” Deputy Minister of Defense, Hanna Maliar, said in a press release shared on social networks.

Moscow said on Wednesday it had shot down three Ukrainian drones southwest of the capital, at least the fifth attack this month in the Kaluga region.

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Ukraine launched an attack using “three unmanned aerial vehicles on objects in the Kaluga region” around 5:00 a.m. local time, Russia’s Defense Ministry wrote in a Telegram.

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“All UAVs were detected and destroyed in time by Russian air defense systems,” it added.

According to the governor of Kaluga, Vladislav Shabsha, as he wrote in Telegram, “there are no consequences for people and infrastructure”.

Zelenskyy meets troops in Zaporizhzhia region

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky met on Tuesday with Ukrainian troops and military commanders engaged in a counteroffensive against Russian forces in the southeastern region of Zaporizhia.

“Today I continue to visit our combat units. Yesterday we were in the Donetsk region, and today, various districts of the Zaporizhzhia region, the territory of Tavria operational and strategic troops,” Zelenskyy said in a video shared on Telegram.

An official statement shared by his office confirmed that Zelenskyy “visited the locations of brigades carrying out offensive operations in the Melitopol sector.”

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In his video address, the Ukrainian president said he spoke with military commanders about “the needs of our soldiers” and said everything they talked about would be shared later in a staff meeting.

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