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October 30, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news
By Matt Meyer, Maureen Chowdhury and Mike Hayes, CNN
The head of the United States Agency for International Development urged Russia to continue its participation in the United Nations-brokered Black Sea grain deal, writing that “the world cannot afford for Putin to continue to use food as a weapon of war.”
“Russia’s comments about suspending its participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative are regrettable. This life-saving agreement between Russia, Ukraine, and Turkey, brokered in July by the United Nations, has allowed the export of more than nine million metric tons of grain and other food products to populations around the world in the midst of a devastating global food crisis,” USAID Administrator Samantha Power wrote in a statement Sunday.
She touted the “tremendous success” of the deal so far, crediting it with lowering global food prices and providing relief to those “most vulnerable to severe hunger.”
“The United States and our allies and partners remain clear: the Black Sea Grain Initiative must continue and be extended. Any attempt to undermine the agreement is an attack on hungry families around the world whose lives and livelihoods are dependent on this initiative,” Power wrote.
Remember: Moscow announced it was leaving the grain deal after blaming Ukraine for a drone attack on Crimea Saturday. Kyiv has accused Russia of inventing “fictitious terrorist attacks” and using the deal as “blackmail.”
The movement of more than 200 ships participating in United Nations-brokered grain export deal with Ukraine is blocked, Ukraine's Ministry of Infrastructure said Sunday in its latest update.
It comes a day after Russia said it had decided to suspend its participation from the deal with Ukraine, following its claims that Kyiv ordered drone attacks on the Crimean city of Sevastopol.
"Due to the fact that as of October 30, the Ukrainian side does not have permission from the Joint Coordination Centre to pass through the safe corridor and conduct inspections, 218 vessels are actually blocked in their current positions," the ministry said on its verified Facebook page.
Of these 218 ships blocked in their current positions, there are "95 loaded vessels that have already left Ukrainian ports and are waiting inspection for shipment to the final consumer," the ministry said.
An additional 101 vessels are waiting for inspection at the entrance to Ukrainian ports and 22 loaded vessels are waiting to leave Ukrainian ports, it added.
Ukrainian President Zelensky called the decision of Russia to suspend its participation from the grain export deal with Ukraine “deliberate” and “a rather predictable statement” in his nightly address on Saturday.
World leaders have criticized Russia’s move, with the United States accusing the country of "weaponizing food."
There are moments throughout history where entire armies suddenly stop fighting, though they are evenly matched or even numerically superior to their enemy.
What causes armies to lose the will to fight? And how might that play out with the Russian army in Ukraine? This is the question that CNN asked combat veterans and military historians.
While history is full of embattled armies like the Imperial Japanese Army in World War II, which fought with ferocious intensity even though they knew they would not win, it also records other armies that “quiet quit” — stopped attacking the enemy or did the bare minimum to stay alive.
Russia’s troops may be approaching that precipice, says Jeff McCausland, a combat veteran of the Gulf War and a visiting professor of international security studies at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania.
He says it’s become clear that the Russian army is poorly trained and supplied, and that its soldiers in many cases have lost their will to fight.
“Fear and panic are more infectious than Covid” for an army, says McCausland, who co-authored a book on combat leaders.
The sources for both fear and panic are varied. But McCausland and other historians say that throughout the history of warfare, there are at least three reasons why armies lose the will to fight: They lose faith in their cause, they lose faith in their leader, or they lose the backing of their country.
Read how each of those factors could play out in Russia here.
NATO has called on Russia to urgently renew the United Nations-brokered grain export deal with Ukraine, spokesperson Oana Lungescu told CNN Sunday.
This comes a day after Russia decided to suspend its participation from the deal with Ukraine after drone attacks on the Crimean city of Sevastopol on Saturday, which it blamed on Kyiv.
“All NATO Allies welcomed the UN deal brokered by Türkiye that made the resumption of Ukrainian agricultural exports via the Black Sea possible. These exports have helped reduce food prices over the world, including in Africa," Lungescu said.
"We call on Russia to reconsider its decision and renew the deal urgently, enabling food to reach those who need it most. President Putin must stop weaponizing food and end his illegal war on Ukraine," Lungescu added.
Russia’s announcement it would suspend its participation in a United Nations-brokered grain export deal with Ukraine is evidence that “Moscow is not willing to uphold any international agreements,” Poland’s foreign ministry said Sunday.
“Poland, together with its EU partners, stands ready to work further to help Ukraine and those in need to transport essential goods,” the ministry said in a tweet.
The United Nations Secretary-General is delaying his departure for the Arab League Summit in Algiers after Russia suspended its participation in an UN-brokered grain deal viewed as key to addressing the global food shortage.
The UN chief’s departure for Algiers has been delayed by a day to focus on the issue, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ spokesperson said in a statement.
The Secretary-General, “is deeply concerned about the ongoing situation regarding the Black Sea Grain Initiative,” the spokesperson said.
Remember: Moscow announced it was leaving the deal after what it said was a Ukrainian drone attack on Crimea Saturday. Kyiv accused Russia of inventing “fictitious terrorist attacks” and using the deal as “blackmail.”
“The Secretary-General continues to engage in intense contacts aiming at the end of the Russian suspension of its participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative,” the UN chief's office said.
“The same engagement also aims at the renewal and full implementation of the initiative to facilitate exports of food and fertilizer from Ukraine, as well as removing the remaining obstacles to the exports of Russian food and fertilizer,” the statement continues.
France pushed back against Russia's accusations that the United Kingdom helped facilitate attacks on the Crimean city of Sevastopol and the Nord Stream pipeline, calling them "baseless."
On Saturday, the Russian defense ministry accused the UK of helping Ukraine to plan Saturday’s drone attacks on the Crimean city of Sevastopol, claiming these were conducted under the guidance of British navy specialists.
Russian officials also accused representatives of the UK’s navy of being involved in explosions at the Nord Stream gas pipelines last month. It did not provide any evidence to support either claim.
"The accusations brought forward by Russia on Saturday October 29 against the United Kingdom are based on no tangible proof and are baseless," a French Foreign Ministry statement said on Sunday.
France called the allegations an example of Russia's strategy of "distorting the reality" and turning "attention away from their sole responsibility for the war of aggression they are conducting against Ukraine," the statement said.
France pledged to pursue with its partners the "necessary efforts to assure that these lies cannot prosper," reminding Russia that despite its efforts to "blur perceptions" it will not be exonerated from its responsibility for crimes committed in Ukraine.
Russian Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov said Sunday that condemning Russia for the suspension of the grain deal is unfair.
“The situation has escalated even further. But in the US, they do not intend to acknowledge this. Again, everything is reduced to false accusations that our country is exacerbating the global food problem,” Antonov said in a statement published on Facebook.
“It is unfair to condemn Russia in suspending the implementation of the deal. This happened because of the reckless actions by the Ukrainian authorities,” said Antonov.
On Saturday, Russia announced it would suspend its participation in the United Nations-brokered grain export deal with Ukraine after drone attacks on the Crimean city of Sevastopol.
Antonov criticized the US for what he said was a lack of condemnation “of the reckless actions by the Kyiv regime” referring to the Sevastopol drone attack claims – an incident the Ukrainian side has not acknowledged.
“Washington's reaction to the 'terrorist attack' on the port of Sevastopol is truly outrageous. We have not seen any signs of condemnation of the reckless actions by the Kyiv regime,” Antonov said in a statement published on Facebook.
Some more context: Russia’s decision to suspend participation in a United Nations-brokered grain export deal is “weaponizing food,” the White House said Saturday.
“Any talk by Russia of disrupting these critical grain exports is essentially a statement that people and families around the world should pay more for food or go hungry,” said Adrienne Watson, a spokesperson for the National Security Council, in a statement.
“Russia is again trying to use the war it started as a pretext for weaponizing food, directly impacting nations in need and global food prices, and exacerbating already dire humanitarian crises and food insecurity,” the statement read.
Russia said it was halting participation in the deal with Ukraine after drone attacks on the Crimean city of Sevastopol, the country’s defense ministry announced Saturday.